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Shark finning banned in New Zealand

New Zealand is banning the practice of shark finning, a move the Pew Charitable Trusts says is welcome and will bring the country in line with other developed nations.

New Zealand’s Conservation Minister Nick Smith said Wednesday that the move will reinforce the country’s reputation for sustainability and environmental protection.

The new rules, effective October, will make it illegal to remove fins from dead sharks and dump the carcasses at sea. It was already illegal in New Zealand to remove fins from live sharks.

Shark fin soup is considered a delicacy by some in China. But the practice of shark finning has been condemned by many environmentalists as inhumane and wasteful. 

Pew estimates at least 100 million sharks are caught commercially each year, threatening the survival of some species.

Animals can be ‘victims’ just like people, Oregon Supreme Court says



In two landmark rulings earlier this month, the Oregon Supreme Court said that animals — whether they be horses, goats, dogs or cats — shall be afforded some of the same basic protections as human beings.

The dual rulings are expected to make it easier for police to rush to the aid of ailing animals without first obtaining a warrant. They also could result in harsher criminal repercussions for those found guilty of abusing or neglecting animals.

“These are hugely helpful to the prosecution of animal-cruelty cases,” said Jacob Kamins, a Corvallis-based prosecutor assigned to pursuing such cases across Oregon.

Specifically, in State v. Arnold Nix, the supreme court ruled that a Umatilla County man who was convicted of starving 20 horses and goats on his property could be sentenced — not just on one count of second-degree animal neglect — but on 20 different counts, meaning each animal counted as a separate “victim.”

For defendants in general, that could result in longer jail or prison sentences, and make it more difficult for defendants to — years later — expunge such convictions off of their criminal records.

“To acknowledge that animals are victims of crime, that’s really common sense to us,” said Lora Dunn, staff attorney for the Animal Legal Defense Fund in Portland.

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Pamela Anderson Rejects Ice Bucket Challenge Because Of ALS Animal Testing History

While many celebrities have accepted the now-viral ice bucket challenge, meant to raise awareness and money for the ALS Association, Pamela Anderson has decided to turn the challenge down.

In a Facebook post written Wednesday, August 20, Anderson explains she would like to "challenge ALS to stop Animal testing."

The former “Baywatch” star, 47, further explains that experiments made on animals to find a cure for ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) in humans have been unfruitful, and encourages her fans to “support charities that never harm animals and which pour their time and resources into advanced, promising, human-relevant cures.”

Anderson is a known animal rights activist and was named PETA’s Person of the Year in 2010.

Despite tremendous Hollywood support, Anderson is not the only celebrity to publicly speak again the trend. Zachary Quinto opted out of the challenge, pointing to “staggering drought in california [sic] and the desperate need for clean drinking water in developing countries” as cause. P!nk’s husband Carey Hart praised ALS for its “creative” campaign while condemning its social factor, saying the challenge has evolved “into a pass along joke to some.”

As of Thursday, August 21, The ALS Association has received $41.8 million in donations, reads its official website.

7 Sneaky Animal Ingredients to Watch Out For in Supplements

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By One Green Planet

The vitamin and supplement market is one of the most growing and successful markets in the health food world today. In the midst of the course to gain more nutrition, we’re bombarded with products that contain various ingredients with multiple and unknown origins. Most of these ingredients come from plants and are generally safe.  For example, one commonly used ingredient in vitamin and supplements is cellulose. Cellulose is a plant-based fiber that helps ensure stabilization, along with act as a coating ingredient. Other commonly used vitamin and supplement ingredients include rice bran, lecithin (soy-derived), and dextrin (corn fiber). While these are all plant-based, other ingredients in supplements may not be.

Many ingredients in vitamins and supplements come from animals or involve animals during production. Be sure to read vitamin and supplements carefully, and always look under the ingredients list at the end of the nutrition label to see exactly what is in the supplement you’re buying. Unless you’re buying exclusively vegan vitamins, you’ll more than likely see one of the following animal ingredients in at least one of the supplements you’re taking.

1. Gelatin

The number one leading animal ingredient in supplements today is gelatin. It’s usually the first ingredient listed right under the label and used as a coating ingredient or filler for capsules and gels. Gelatin is derived from boiling the hooves, stomach, and other tissue linings of various animals (usually pork and beef). It is also the ingredient found in gelatin dessert products since it helps create a thick, gel-like consistency in foods.

2. Magnesium Stearate

Another filler you’ll often see listed in the ingredient list is magnesium stearate, which is normally pork-derived. It’s used as a lubricant on the coating of supplements or included as a filler. Magnesium stearate come from stearic acid, which is is a fatty acid usually found in pork, butter, chicken, beef, fish, and milk. It’s also found in cocoa and grains. Be sure to purchase exclusively vegan supplements so you can be assured you’re not taking in animal fats used to make this ingredient. Usually, if a supplement contains a vegetarian/vegan source of magnesium stereate, it will say so on the label.

3. Lanolin

Lanolin comes from sheep and is often used in vitamin D supplements. If you purchase vitamin D3, most likely, it’s in the form of calciferol or cholecalciferol, which means it’s from lanolin. Vegan vitamin D3 supplements are available and they’re sourced from algae, which is a far better and more nutritious source, not to mention less cruel.

4. Bee Pollen

Bee pollen is often included in many energy supplements, workout aids, or vegan “superfoods.” While some people are still on the fence about whether consuming honey or bee pollen is considered “ethical” or not, the truth is, bees are still an animal and anything that comes from them should be considered an animal ingredient like anything else. Bee pollen is formed from microscopic spores that bees create during the pollination of plants.

5. Carmine

Some supplements contain carmine as a food dye or as an ingredient for whatever other reason. Carmine comes from beetles and is often used as a food dye such as Red #40.

6. Caprylic Acid

Derived from goat, sheep, or cow’s milk, this ingredient is often used as a filler or coating ingredient. Vegetable sources of caprylic acid include coconut oil and palm oil. If you’re buying a supplement and see caprylic acid, check the ingredient list to see if it states the source of the ingredients.

7. Lipase

This is an enzyme commonly listed in digestive enzyme supplements. Be sure to purchase a vegan brand of digestive enzymes to avoid taking in an animal source of this and other enzymes. Lipase can come from plants but is often derived from the tongues of calves and lambs. Another ingredient often included in enzyme supplements is pepsin, which comes from the stomach lining of pigs!

As you can see, some of these ingredients are pretty gross and inhumane, even if they sound harmless when you first read them. For a complete list of supplement and beauty product ingredients to avoid, check out PETA’s website to learn more

There’s truly no need to take in animal ingredients from your supplements, especially with all the awesome vegan products out there, like these plant-based supplements for optimal health.  Do you have a favorite brand of plant-based supplements?

The Day A Dozen Parents and Children Killed a Shark for a Selfie

By Joanna Zelman

A recent summer weekend is smoldering in my memory. My favorite New York beach was checkered in rows of splayed out towels by the time I had caught the bus to the train and crossed the line where gravel turns to sand.

I was digging the sunblock from underneath my nails after a heavy slathering session when the beach’s buzz level of crashing waves, music and chit chat rose in volume. The heightened voices were coming from the water’s edge, where over a dozen parents and children had gathered in a tightly packed circle, their hands jammed toward the sky, gripping cellphones and snapping photos.

I continued picking my nails, assuming it was another piece of trash mistaken for an animal; a plastic straw confused for a crab leg or glass shard misidentified as a jellyfish.

The commotion continued, and curiosity got the best of me. I nonchalantly weaved between the blankets, just so happening to meander in the direction of the crowd. I leered over the hairy backs and damp towels flung around necks to see a man clutching a baby shark by its tail. He was grinning, delivering a thumbs up to his wife.

"Angle it a bit more in front— no babe, in front of you," his wife directed. "Yeah. No, you’re blocking it. In front of you."

The man jolted the shark by his tail, front and back, left and right. “Like this?”

"Yeah, that’s good."

"Get a few."

The shark wiggled his torso and gaped his mouth open and shut.

A boy grabbed at the shark. “Let me hold it! I want a photo.”

The man maintained a grip on the tail. The boy squirmed up next to the shark, smacked a hand on his side in a declaration of ownership, and extended his other hand gripping an iPhone to snap a selfie.

"Shouldn’t you put the shark back in the water?" I asked. My voice was swallowed in the murmurs of excitement. I asked louder, "Shouldn’t you put it back?"

Panic arose from the circle. “No, I didn’t get a photo with it yet!” “It’s my turn first!” A group of kids and adults alike began more desperately clambering for a grip of the shark.

A big man with thick muscles and deeply tanned skin won the grab-off with two hands on the animal. “Joey! Hey Joey take my picture!” he shouted to a friend.

The shark’s torso stopped wiggling, and he slowly gaped his mouth once, and then let it hang open. “You guys! I think the shark is dying,” I exclaimed.

A few heads turned my way, then returned back to taking photos. My cheeks began to burn as I stood in front of the man, my hands waving, blocking the cameras. “This shark is dying. You guys are literally killing this shark for a photo, can’t you see that?” I asked. A sea of cameras, iPhones and iPads stared back at me. The crowd waited for me to move so they could resume their important work of proving they saw a shark. Dead or alive, it didn’t matter. It’d be liked on Facebook and Instagram either way.

I clamped my shaky hand on the thick muscled man’s greasy shoulder. “Let it go,” I declared in a voice higher than I knew I was capable of. He turned to his friend. “You get the pic, Joey?” and upon Joey’s nod, he shrugged. “Fine.”

"No, wait!" Another man yelled, grabbing at the shark. "I didn’t get a turn!"

"You are literally going to kill this shark for a photo!" I argued.

He looked down at the shark dangling from his hand. “It’s already dead,” he shrugged.

The shark’s mouth lay agape, his gills slightly blowing in the sea breeze.

"Just…" I bit down hard on my tongue to force back tears worming their way out. "…Just put him back in the water. Please."

The man shrugged and dropped him in the sea. Another man waded into the water to find him, but the shark had floated out with the current.

A little girl in a polka dot bathing suit with ruffles stomped up to me, splashing her little feet through the water. She smacked her hands onto her hips. “What’d you do that for?! I don’t want any shark stinking up my ocean.”

I stared at her, and shook my head. “That’s nature.”

She blinked at me, confused by this notion, and stomped away.

This is a generation that experiences animals, nature and the great wonders of our world behind the safety of four-inch screens instead of understanding how to live among them in reality. We are teetering dangerously close to preferring satisfaction in the virtual world over the real one.

Humans no longer know how to interact with the natural world. That summer day, this disconnect came at the sacrifice of a little baby shark. I fear the consequences will be more dire in the future.

The real struggle in being vegan doesn’t involve food. The hardest part about being vegan is coming face-to-face with the darker side of humanity and trying to remain hopeful.
Jo Tyler
HELPING ANIMALS IN GAZA



Animals - the forgotten victims

During times of conflict, the suffering of animals is often overlooked as the world focuses on human casualties. War, as practiced by humans, is unknown among other animals, but we drag them into all our wars regardless, either actively as conscripts, or just by destroying them and their homes with barely a passing thought. 

During times of war, animals are either neglected, injured, killed, left behind, or used as commodities to facilitate the war effort. 

Click [here] for more information.


The Vegan Kind
- The UK’s First Monthly Lifestyle Subscription Box for Vegans.

via Walter Bond Support Page

Please send $10 to Walter Bond today so he can make needed purchases at the prison commissary. Without our help he is unable to buy supplemental vegan foods, stamps, send Corrlinks email or make the two 15-minute phone calls per week he is allowed. Keep in mind that he will be incarcerated for 7 more years without getting visits or much contact with his friends.

For more info on sending funds to him in prison, please visit
supportwalter.org

Netherlands Create Animal Police Officers to Act Against Animal Cruelty


In 2011, the first animal police service, (animal cops) started work to tackle cruelty to animals and animal neglect more effectively. There is also a special alarm number 144, for reporting animals in distress.

The Dutch government says the country’s first animal police officers are training to enforce laws protecting pets, livestock and wildlife against abuse. The officers are drawn from the regular police force, and 125 of them will receive several months of training on animal welfare legislation and how to enforce it.

The Netherlands is the first country to have an animal rights party in parliament.

Dutch police to act against animal cruelty

The animal cops take action against:

• animal cruelty and the killing of animals;
• animal neglect;
• sex with animals;
• animal pornography;
• poaching;
• Animal baiting.

500 animal police officers by 2015

By 2015, the Dutch police will have 500 specialist animal police officers. These officers also carry out other police tasks, but receive specialist training at the Police College.

Training for animal police officers

The animal police officers training course covers:

• legislation on animal cruelty;
• recognizing suffering in animals;
• the powers of animal police officers;
• confiscation of animals;
• Procedures for reporting animal cruelty (such as drawing up an official report).

The training course combines theory and practice. It takes a total of 12 days, spread over three to four months. Six of those days are devoted to theory, and the other six to practical training. Trainees may for instance visit scenes where animal cruelty has been reported. At the end of the training course, the officers sit an examination, and if successful, they can start work as animal police officers.

Phone 144 to report animals in distress

An emergency number, 144, has been launched for reporting animals in distress. Calls to 144 (‘Save an Animal’) are answered by staff of the Dutch Police Services Agency’s emergency control centre.