Animal Activist

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I’ve been an animal lover all of my life (after overcoming being terrorized by a large dog thumbnail_Koko1when I was four,) and became an animal rights advocate after seeing “Born Free,” one of my favourite films, and the reason that I attended a talk given by the film’s stars, Virginia McKenna and her husband, Bill Travers, founders of the Born Free Foundation.

Over the years, I gave talks to schools and organizations, introducing the BFF’s outstanding role in exposing the cruelty long-hidden by zoos and circuses, and with my husband, Arthur, investigated zoos and circuses with the goal of forcing them to make changes to how the animals in their care were treated.

Recently, you may have heard that a lowland gorilla named Koko died at age 46.  Famous for having “learned” over 2000 words in English using a form of sign language, Koko and her keeper “conversed” on a daily basis.  Born in the San Francisco zoo, Koko made headlines when she adopted a kitten as a pet.

I, along with other activists, are strongly opposed to the claims of those who use captive animals to “prove” their intelligence by a one-way traffic of the animal being trained to respond to the English language and the keeper learning nothing of the animal’s own.

To this day, after years of researchers using captive animals to investigate their thumbnail_Koko2copyconnection to humans, there isn’t a single instance of the roles being reversed and the humans learning the animal’s language.  From dolphins and whales to elephants and birds, humans have trained them to respond to their commands but remain ignorant of the creatures’ own languages.

Clearly, the time has come for a new way of thinking about the animals we share our planet with as well as paying equal respect for their rights.

I’d appreciate hearing what you think about this or any other matter affecting the well-being of  animals, domestic or in the wild.

Horror in New York

A New York City carriage horse was euthanized after collapsing in Central Park — in a caught-on-camera incident that sparked a protest on Sunday and calls for an investigation.

The animal, a 12-year-old mare named Aisha, suffered a cardiac emergency around 12:30 p.m. Saturday, officials said.

Heartbreaking video posted on social media shows the animal stumbling on her hind legs and slumping down to the ground as handlers attempt to pull her up.

The horse had gone on a single ride and waited at a 7th Avenue carriage stand for about an hour-and-a-half before the medical incident, according to the Historic Horse-Drawn Carriages of Central Park, a trade group that represents owners and drivers.

Since she couldn’t stand, the mare was slid into a horse trailer and taken to her stable on 52nd Street, where she was checked out by her veterinarian within an hour. But she was never able to stand up and her owner decided to put her to sleep, the officials said.

Animal activists shared the clip of Aisha’s collapse on social media, spurring outrage.

Beat back Australia’s wildlife apocalypse

Dear friends, 

FB_IMG_1579584820298Hell on earth looks a lot like Australia right now. The fires are so big they are generating their own lightning — and they’ve killed more than a **BILLION** animals!

A billion! It’s a wildlife holocaust!! Thousands of koalas have been roasted alive in the trees, while rare flying foxes are falling dead from the sky. Even worse, this nightmare could be a glimpse of our whole planet’s future if we don’t urgently tackle the climate crisis that caused it.

This is a call to arms: we need to fight Australia’s fires with burning, urgent action.

If 50,000 of us chip in now, we can provide immediate on-the-ground support — funding the heroes who are rescuing injured koalas and kangaroos, while backing a long-term recovery plan to plant billions of new trees to help nature recover.

But alone it won’t be enough. Even as their country burns, Australia’s leaders are denying climate change and trying to derail global action to reduce carbon pollution. We can’t let them win. So we’ll also bring all of our movement’s campaigning magic to face down blockers in Australia and all over the world ahead of crucial global climate talks later this year.

This is urgent — give what you can to help beat back Australia’s biodiversity apocalypse andFB_IMG_1579584799821 spark the climate revolution our planet needs!Can you imagine how brave you must be to run into the flames to save terrified animals? Across Australia, heroic wildlife rescuers are working against the clock to save animals from this catastrophe — they deserve our support, and if enough of us chip in, we can give it.

But to really make their heroism count, we must spark change in Australia — and that means taking on the powerful climate deniers who have the government in their grip. Right now, they’re flooding Australia with fake news to play down the link to climate change, but as deadly fires blaze through homes, businesses and schools, killing dozens and wrecking people’s lives, Australia’s leaders are under pressure like never before.

Avaaz is one of the few movements positioned to power recovery plans and wildlife rescue on the ground, while launching fearless people-powered campaigns and investigations all over the world to face down the climate deniers.

So let’s not stand by and watch as wildlife burns — chip in now to power the global response to Australia’s climate catastrophe that the whole world needs:

You can help by clicking on the following link: 


Elephants in Nepal Beaten With Bullhooks and Sticks for Games

Eyewitness video footage shows elephants who were forced to participate in the cruel Chitwan Elephant Festival in Nepal being repeatedly struck and gouged with bullhooks—spear-like weapons with a sharp hook on one end—and their ears being violently yanked. Mahouts (handlers) also beat frightened elephants with other weapons, such as sticks and makeshift wooden knives.One mahout can be seen repeatedly jabbing a baby elephant behind the ear to force her to “play” soccer. Right after the match, eyewitnesses saw that she had several fresh, painful, bloody wounds.See more at:

Footballer Goes Vegan

Manchester United centreback, Chris Smalling, has kicked his red meat diet for a vegan lifestyle.  He said his decision was made by the undeniable fact that animal cruelty and environmental harm is caused by an animal-based agriculture.  He’s now the star of a new PETA UK advert

If you’re a vegan or vegetarian I’d love to hear the how’s and why’s you’ve chosen a cruelty-free lifestyle.  Please let me hear from you on my Forum, we can start some conversations.

And as always, please remember to be kind to the animals.


“The Doctor Will See You Now, said the Nurse to the Goose.”

No, this isn’t from “Alice in Wonderland,” but a new and growing trend of medical students working side by side with veterinarians to treat animals.

The programme is a joint effort of the Harvard Medical School and Boston’s Franklin Park zoo, intended to reinforce the fact that animals and humans share more than the same environment.  While many of the students grew up with pets, none of their medical school training Incorporated the physical similarities and differences all animals have in common with humans, and how recent research has proved there is so much more to learn from animals that is just now beginning to benefit human health.

Each student spends a month at the zoo under the supervision of a vet. Student surveys show that the programme has been an enormous success, with the doctors-to-be coming away with questions they had never anticipated about the intersection of humans and their animal counterparts.

As the news of the collaboration between vets and med students spreads internationally, one immediate benefit is evident, that animals are on their way to being thought of and treated with a new respect for being just that — animals.

For all you pet owners, you might think of having a conversation about this trail-blazing programme with your vet on the next visit, with and eye toward expanding its reach.   From little acorns…………

I’d love to hear your comments about this and all other animal matters.

Britain has banned third-party sales of puppies and kittens to protect the animals from exploitation.

The government says the new law will help crack down on “puppy farms” and make it harder for unscrupulous dealers who have little regard for animal welfare.

Animal Welfare Minister David Rutley said the ban “is part of our commitment to make sure the nation’s much-loved pets get the right start in life.

The decision follows a public consultation that found overwhelming support for banning third-party sales.

Under the new measure, people wishing to adopt a puppy or kitten would have to deal directly with a breeder or a re-homing centre, rather than pet shops or other commercial dealers.

Animal welfare groups praised the government measure as an important step forward. Marc Abraham, a veterinarian who appears on television and is the founder of Pup Aid, called it “a real victory for grassroots campaigners as well as the U.K.’s dogs and cats.”

He said the law would make breeders more accountable and make it more difficult to sell illegally smuggled puppies and kittens.

The change was also endorsed by one of Britain’s best-known animal shelters, the Battersea Cat and Dogs Home.

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