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I Would Rather “Smell Like a Pig” Than Buy From Tyson Foods!

I am in an activist mood today, and have been looking at ways that I can help those in need – whether it be people, animals, or the environment.  I came across a really good site – Take Part – that highlights different issues a day which need to be addressed.  So far, I’ve signed a few petitions, donated a few bucks, and have bookmarked the site so I can keep up-to-date with ways to take action.

However, one issue both really grabbed my attention and disgusted the hell out of me.  It’s an issue regarding Tyson Foods.  Apparently, Tyson, a U.S. pig supplier, has admitted to buying pigs from suppliers who use gestation crates, which are tiny cage like “pens” where the pigs are unable to even turn around, and barely sit down.  However, while this was troubling, the thing that disgusted me the most was watching undercover investigation footage taken by the Michigan Humane Society of one of Tyson’s supplier’s pig breeding facilities in Wyoming.

I am providing you all with the video, however I will admit that I couldn’t even watch it more than a minute in.  I will warn you, like the video states at the beginning, that it is GRAPHIC.  For those of you who want to skip watching the video (which I don’t blame you for) it does show the facility’s employees mistreating the pigs in VERY inhumane ways.  One man full out sucker punches a pig with his closed fist.  An extremely overweight woman sits on a mother pig’s injured leg to get the sow to move.  And as this is all going on, the pigs are all living in deplorable conditions.  And this is just less than a minute into the video!  

But here it is anyway, because I do believe we need to educate ourselves of what is going on under our noses.

The abuse shown in the video is highly disturbing.  Did you know that pigs are smarter than dogs?  They can feel every punch given to them, can understand that they do NOT deserve this abuse, but unfortunately are unable to do anything about it.

After seeing this, I signed the petition instantly.  I was fuming inside as my heart raced frantically and my fingers typed the only 2 words I wanted to say to Tyson Foods (I’ll give you a hint: the first word started with F, the second ended in U).  Of course I erased those hateful words because well, this is a petition, but you better believe it that I will be typing my own hate letter in my own time!

I did state in my petition message though that I would NOT be buying Tyson brands (I am a vegetarian, but shhh…they don’t need to know that!), and I made it clear that I would be urging my family, friends, and others I knew to boycott them as well.  So here I am!

I ask you to please sign the petition to convince Tyson Foods to STOP using gestation crates and to STOP buying from suppliers who abuse the animals as if the animals were objects instead of beings.

Here’s the link to the petition, and after you sign it, please let us know in the comment section below.  Let’s see how many people we can get to try to change Tyson Food’s mind about the way they treat their pigs!

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 *Note: Check out the links above for more information and for my sources.  The video above was taken from YouTube.  The words, thoughts, and opinions of this article are my own: © Kalie Lyn, 2012.*

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Indonesia’s Largest Zoo Accused of Animal Abuse

Indonesia’s largest zoo has come under investigation for animal abuse after a 30 year old giraffe died, with 40 pounds of plastic trash found in its stomach.  However, Kliwon, the giraffe, was not the first to die in Surabaya Zoo as more than 15 out of 4,000 animals at this particular zoo die per month.

The animals live in littered, tiny cages, many of them emaciated and injured, including a white tiger with back problems and covered in skin lesions.  The entire zoo is overcrowded with 180 pelicans practically piled on top of each other in their one volleyball court-sized cage, and breeding is out of control as the males and females are not separated due to lack of space, and contraceptives are too expensive.  The animals are just exhibits in this zoo as the entrance fee is less than $2, clearly not enough to feed and care for all the animals, and the visitors throw food and garbage into the cages.

The staff at Surabaya Zoo have also been accused of stealing the meat meant for the lion’s food to sell at the local market, and some animals, which had disappeared, are suspected of being sold in the exotic pet trade.  Tony Sumampouw, a government appointed experienced zookeeper, has desperately been trying to repair the zoo and has considered “…about privatizing or transferring some of the animals”.

Check out the original article here, at The Huffington Post.

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I am stunned.  It took me a while to consider if I even wanted to write this post because of how pissed I was – and am – just thinking about what is going on at this zoo.

First off, I don’t understand what took so long for this zoo to be accused of animal abuse.  In the original article (the link is above), it states that before Tony Sumampouw was appointed by the government to run the zoo, there were 20 deaths a month, with him bringing the death rate down to fifteen.  If there are 20 deaths a month at one zoo, let alone the country’s largest, and probably most popular, zoo, then why weren’t they investigated before?!  It doesn’t make any sense.

After reading the article, it’s obvious that the 4,000 and some animals are treated with absolute zero respect, especially if the staff of the zoo are stealing the animal’s food and selling the animals to the exotic pet trade!  

The article does not state how we can all speak out against the Surabaya Zoo, but I have done my research and have found the zoo’s email address and phone number.  

I have sent them an email stating that I will never ever be a visitor of their zoo until they find a solution, such as privatizing it like Tony Sumampouw said, or completely renovating it.  I beg you all to do the same, because if we have enough concerned animal lovers speaking out against them, then possibly, along with the bad publicity they are currently getting, things will change and animals could be saved.

So please, pass this along, comment, rant, rave, and give us your opinion of what is going on.

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*Note:  Click on the link above to read the full article and to check my source.  The picture was taken from the source.  I, however, summarized the article (the italicized section at the top) in my own words, and the opinions, thoughts, phrases, and words in this post are my own: © Kalie Lyn, 2011.*

Cupid, Trixie, and Maggie: The Story of 3 Survivors

Cat Shot With Arrow

An orange Tabby was dubbed the nickname ‘Cupid’ after he survived an arrow shot through his shoulder.  He was taken to the Brittmore Animal Hospital where the arrow was surgically removed.  Luckily, the arrow pierced no major organs and ‘Cupid’ is underway to a full recovery.  

This article, which I found on The Huffington Post, really affected me in a personal way.  If you read the original article, it states that the veterinarian who operated on ‘Cupid’ believes that the incident “…definitely wasn’t an accident”.  

My family and I have had our own trials of our animals being abused.  The first incident occurred with our cat Trixie.  

We lived outside of Detroit at the time and Trixie was an indoor-outdoor cat.  She enjoyed going outside during the day and roaming the neighborhood.  During one day, Trixie came home and my mother saw dried blood on her face.  Trixie’s eye was swollen and shut so my mom rushed her to the vet.  The doctor looked at Trixie and said that she had been shot.  Luckily, however, the bullet went straight through and missed hitting her brain.  

From then on, Trixie only had one eye, the shot eye permanently sewed up.  My mother knew that it wasn’t an accident and someone had deliberately shot our cat.

The other incident involved our dog Maggie.  We adopted the fawn-colored Boxer from the Michigan Humane Society and loved her at first sight – even with her one physical flaw.  

You usually see Boxers with their ears straight up and their tails as stubs, even though they are born with their ears floppy and down, and their tails long.  However, many breeders and Boxer owners crop the dog’s ears – a procedure, which occurs when the dog is 7-12 weeks old, that involves removing some of the earflap and nerve endings.  It is usually done for “physical beauty” and something that I find to be a very cruel practice.  

When we adopted Maggie, she only had one ear.  The MHS did not know the details to what had happened but they speculated that Maggie had suffered through a terrible cropping job.  Soft, silky, hairless, black skin – which I would curiously gently touch when I was a child – took the place of her one ear.  Fortunately, they had not gone as far as cutting her tail to a stub, so she had a long hard tail which I vividly remembered she would whack us with when she became excited.

My family has been known to adopt and take care of “misfit” animals.  We don’t care about their physical deformations, and would rather have a loyal companion than a beautiful show dog.  However, we do care about what happened to them, and why it happened.

Why ‘Cupid’ was shot with an arrow; why Trixie was shot through the eye with a gun; and why Maggie was subjected to the pain of an ear-cropping that went totally wrong: these are the things I think about.  It is so sad to hear and see that animals are still treated without respect.  They are still abused, taken advantage of, and treated like “things” instead of sentient beings. 

Whether it was a teenager who just received a gun/bow-and-arrow for his birthday, or a bored adult who has no respect or love for animals, these kinds of intentional abuse are still happening.

Animals do have rights, and they have the ultimate right to be safe and secure in a world where humans still think they are superior to every other species.

Please, if you witness an animal being abused, do speak up.  If you are hanging out with a group of your friends and they decide to test out their new BB Gun on a bird, do try to stop it.  And please do not feel embarrassed for standing up for a “lesser being”; you could ultimately be saving a life.

Animals need a voice, and we should be that voice.  Animal abuse is still abuse.

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*Note:  Click on the links above to read the full articles and to check my sources.  The picture was taken from the source.  I, however, summarized the article (the italicized section at the top) in my own words, and the opinions, thoughts, phrases, and words in this post are my own: © Kalie Lyn, 2011.*

Miracle Dog’s Story: Let’s Not Let It Happen Again

Miracle Dog

Daniel, a beagle mix dog, emerged scared but unharmed from a gas chamber on October 3rd, after trying to be euthanized by Animal Control in Alabama.  He is now considered “Miracle Dog” because he survived.

Daniel was eventually flown to Eleventh Hour Rescue in New Jersey, a volunteer based organization which saves dogs from being put down.   Now, two weeks later and he has found a home.  Joe Dwyer and his family, along with four other dogs – a two dachshunds, a beagle mix, and a pit bull mix – have given Daniel a comfortable and permanent home.

This article really touched me in different ways.  First, I was so glad to hear that the “Miracle Dog” Daniel was able to become adopted after surviving such a horrible death attempt.  And while that is all good and dandy, it irks me to no end that nowhere in the article (the article above is my “summarized-in-my-own-words” version) does it mention the horrors of gas chambers and how to stop shelters and animal control facilities from using them.  

So, because it was not mentioned anywhere in the article, I will take it into my own hands and cover how truly inhumane a gas chamber is and how we can try to stop them.

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Humane vs. Inhumane:  Euthanasia by Injection (EBI) vs. Gas Chambers

It takes up to 25 to 30 minutes for an animal’s life to end in the gas chamber and during that long half hour, the animal does not lose consciousness and brain function until after their organs shut down, which causes a prolonged suffering.

It takes 3 to 5 seconds for the animal to lose consciousness and brain function with EBI and death happens within 2-5 minutes.  The fact that they lose conciousness before they die means they have less suffering and pain.

Euthanasia by Injection is done one animal at a time with a worker who comforts and and holds the frightened animal when it is injected; maybe the only kindness that animal has known.

In gas chambers many animals, of the same species, are put there in at once.  The noise, heat, and smell of the gas coming into the chamber frightens the animal and causes them to fight and attack one another, making it an even more inhumane way to die.

It has obviously been reported, as seeing from “Miracle Dog” above, that not all animals die from gas chambers, making their experience that much more horrifying.

All animals humanely and peacefully die with EBI.

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The above was summarized from the Humane Euthanasia of Shelter Animals Fact Sheet from the American Humane Association.  Click on the fact sheet’s link to read detailed reasons why gas chambers are chambers of horror.

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Now, how to stop shelters from using gas chambers.  It is reported that only nine states have laws that ban all forms of gassing on every animal in shelters.  To see that list, visit the fact sheet link above.

How can you get your voice heard against  the use of gas chambers as a method of euthanasia?  Well, for starters, visit the American Human Association’s Stop Gassing page and see what you can do to speak out and help.

Remember, we are a voice for animals.

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*Note:  Click on the links above to read the full articles and to check my sources.  The picture was taken from the source.  I, however, summarized the article (the italicized section at the top) in my own words, and the opinions, thoughts, phrases, and words in this post are my own: © Kalie Lyn, 2011.*

Speak Up Against Dog Fighting NOW

I’m watching Animal Cops: Houston and there’s an episode where they raid one of the biggest dog fighting operations.  63 pit bulls, yes SIXTY-THREE, were found tied up, their bodies scarred, some bleeding and one was jumping and standing on a twisted broken foot.  It was so sad to see and it just absolutely ANGERS me.  There were even 3 week old puppies huddled in a corner of a dingy shed.  

After the whole Michael Vick fiasco, dog fighting was brought to the public attention.  While most human beings are against it and try to stop it, there are still those whom continue one of the biggest acts of animal cruelty.

I’m sorry for this image but people need to SEE in order to KNOW what is happening.

This should not be happening.  Not only is it cruel and sick, but the pit bull breed has gotten a bad reputation all because humans exploit their power and strength.

Did you know that the American Pit Bull Terrier was the most popular family dog in the 20th century?

Did you know that the horror stories you hear about pit bulls are 99% the fault of a neglectful owner or a STUPID human?

Did you know that American Pit Bull Terriers passed the aggression test – which is given to breeds by The American Temperament Test Society – at a rate of 85.3%?  This is higher than Collies, Golden Retrievers and other “family friendly” dogs!

What can YOU do to stop this horrid “sport”?

While many of us are fortunate to have never experienced or known someone who participates in dog fighting, that does not mean it’s not occurring.  Dog fighting is a secret “sport” and one that is not aired to the public.  We, as animal rights activists and animal lovers, must educate the world about the cruelty and sickness of dog fighting.

We need to educate the young generation, especially those growing up in a troubled household or neighborhood.  We need to educate those who are prone to gambling or those whom are in need of money.  We need to educate every last person, whether they like animals or not, that dog fighting is not only a crime but also deadly.

Just seeing that episode made me so mad and disappointed in people.  It makes me realize that while we have so much advanced technology, while our world is so much more intelligent than it was 20 years ago, there are still those who don’t care about inflicting pain on other’s and whom are stupid enough to think they can get away with it without paying some sort of price.

Even though people say that animals “don’t have souls” or that animals were “put on this earth for people’s use”, those who say that, are literally STUPID.  They are ignorant, dumb and just plain STUPID.  It’s impossible not to notice a soul, feelings and love when looking into an animal’s eye.  They feel pain, their blood flows, they have a brain.

ANIMALS HAVE RIGHTS TOO AND BECAUSE THEY CAN’T SPEAK UP FOR THOSE RIGHTS, WE MUST SPEAK UP FOR THEM.

*Note:  To learn more and to check out my sources, click on the above links.  The images were taken from Google Images.  The thoughts and words of this article are mine.  © Kalie Lyn, 2011.*