Tag Archives: PETA

Nasty Zoos and Some Very Nasty Humans


"A robin redbreast in a cage puts all heaven in a rage" (William Blake)

Recently I travelled through Turkey and I was very disturbed by a small zoo in the back of a petrol station/ diner that we stopped at along the way.

I must say that when I hear the magic words, “a small zoo” or “private zoo”, my blood curdles.

For some reason best known to themselves, certain people with money think that it is appropriate and entertaining to others to imprison any animal they can capture, stick it behind bars in a tiny cubicle and show it off.

I really didn’t want to look but then I thought I could hardly complain about it if I didn’t – and who knows – it just might be a delightful place for animals to be imprisoned.

Unfortunately it was not.

I should have taken photos but I couldn’t even bring myself to do that.

First off there was a cage containing a lonely golden retriever dog, who had obviously given up all hope. It lay on its side, oblivious to the world, in a tiny and narrow cage without water. A crudely written sign on the cage said simply, “Golden”.  Two cages down was a husky, also in a narrow lonely cage without water. Why they couldn’t have put the two dogs in a cage together instead of separating them, I don’t know. However I guess it made for a much better exhibit to have them separated and alone so that we could work out which dog was which.

In fact, 90% of the cages had a single animal in them – a camel, a monkey, a deer and the dogs. There were also some threadbare roosters and hens scratching around in a tiny little cage.  At least they were allowed to be together.

I don’t like the chances of the deer either because in the diner in pride of place on the wall was a set of antlers and a skull.

There was also a dog outside a cage, attached to a short chain and also with no water bowl.

I might add that it was peak summer and unbearably hot and not one of the animals had access to any water whatsoever.

Well, I have today received some wonderful news about this horrid ‘zoo’. I contacted PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and they contacted their Turkish branch and closed the zoo down last week! Isn’t that terrific? And the camel, birds and monkey are being sent to animal reserves but the dogs belong to the owner and won’t be released. However, PETA is keeping track of them. Please give a donation to PETA to thank them for doing this great job. I did. http://www.peta.org/donate/default.aspx

Last weekend I read in the Sydney Morning Herald about the distasteful and nasty zoos on the tops of shopping centres in South East Asia. If you can bear to see a sad gorilla in a cage all by himself or orangutans sadly staring out of  cages, have a look at  http://www.theage.com.au/world/department-store-zoo-animals–trapped-in-an-urban-jungle-20100903-14ubn.html

Have you heard of the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi, Thailand? People come from all over the world specifically to see this temple and interact with the tigers which are docile enough to be patted.

There are now a great number of people who are extremely suspicious about this so called tiger sanctuary, specifically now that it has applied for ‘zoo’ status. Read one person’s opinion http://hubpages.com/hub/Tiger-Temple-Thailand. It is an interesting article so have a read.

Further in the above article the author cites a letter from the International Tiger Coalition and containing serious concerns about the tiger temple. To quote:

Letter from the International Tiger Coalition

On October 7th 2008 the International Tiger Coalition wrote to Mr Chaleermsak Wanichsombat, the Director General of the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department to express their concerns over their ‘concern about the captive breeding and trans-border movements of tigers by the Tiger Temple at Wat Pa Luangta Bua Yannasampanno Forest Monastery in Kanchanaburi and about the facility’s claims to support tiger conservation.’

The letter from the International Tiger Coalition goes on to say:

Our second concern relates to tiger breeding at the Wat Pa Luangta Bua facility, which has no credible connection with accredited conservation breeding programmes that are deemed to support the survival of wild tigers. You may be aware that in 2007, CITES adopted Decision 14.69 which states that “Parties with intensive operations breeding tigers on a commercial scale shall implement measures to restrict the captive population to a level supportive only to conserving wild tigers; tigers should not be bred for trade in their parts and derivatives”. It should first be noted that circumstances in which the release of captive-bred tigers to the wild can make a contribution to the conservation of wild tigers are virtually non-existent.

In any case, one wonders how it is that tigers, which are predators and not known for being cuddly pussy cats, can be handled by members of the public without losing a hand. What methods are being used to sedate or dominate the tigers?

What horrors lie below the surface at this so called temple?

In March, 2010 a private zoo Shenyang Forest Wildlife zoo in Liaoning Province in China starved eleven of its Siberian tigers to death because it couldn’t afford to feed them. The zoo has now been closed down but according to http://www.beijingtoday.com.cn/news/zoo-closed-after-starving-its-tigers-to-death  there are more than 30 wildlife zoos in China, some of which were set up by local governments with private investmen, and 90% of these illtreat their animals.

To quote directly from the website –

The first private zoo opened in Shenzhen in 1993. More quickly followed, but financial problems caused them to quickly deteriorate.

Guo Geng, vice director of Beijing Biodiversity Research Center, said 90 percent of the country’s private zoos are poorly managed.

“It’s hard for private zoos to keep a balance between revenue and animal protection,” Guo said. The more private capital the zoos have, the more they fall apart, he said.

In an unscrupulous bid to increase revenue, some zoos release animals that are natural enemies into cages to entertain visitors with gory death matches. Some train their animals to perform stunts. Those most financially-strapped leave them to starve, he said.

Media exposed a private zoo in Hubei Province that starved eight of its 11 lions to death after being mired in financial difficulties in 2005. The daily cost of feeding all its other animals was 200 yuan combined–the same amount needed to sustain one lion.

“The horrible actions of the Shenyang zoo are not an isolated incident,” said Hua Ning, project manager of the China Office of US-based International Fund for Animal Welfare.

“These tigers died because of a widespread, long-running tradition of cruel treatment at China’s private zoos,” she said.

Mind you, the above is just a discussion about private ‘zoos’. How about the public zoos in China that charmingly feed live animals to the displays? Yep, you can catch a little train around the zoo and at feeding time see a live antelope tossed in the lions’ exhibit. Can you imagine it? The locals find it quite exhilarating and come to the zoo to satisfy their blood lust. They do so love animals over there!

I’d say that China is at the bottom of the tree when it comes to kindness to animals which are usually just seen as something to eat.

However unsavoury incidents occur in public zoos throughout the world and these are quickly hushed up. Animals escape cages which negligent staff have left open and it is the animal that pays the price by being shot. For example, in February 2007  a 140-pound jaguar named Jorge killed a zookeeper at the Denver Zoo before being fatally shot. Zoo officials said later that the zookeeper had violated rules by opening the door to the animal’s cage. This type of incident is fairly common.

In 2007  Kual, a pregnant greater one-horned rhinoceros at Taronga Zoo died in what seemed suspicious circumstances. Media reports at the time speculated that the four year old rhino which was purchased from overseas began to put on so much weight that the zoo put it on a diet. They didn’t realize it was pregnant and it died of  intestinal problems (or was it starvation?). Other media reports at the time suggested that its intestines were full of sand from its bedding. The zoo immediately instigated a media blackout on the incident and the RSPCA, although refusing to release the results of its investigation into the death, stated that they had found no evidence of cruelty in the animals’ veterinary records or in keeping standards.


Read Taronga Zoo’s discussion of the matter at http://www.taronga.org.au/tcsa/media/media-releases/full-circle-of-life-played-out-at-zoos.aspx

 These days most public zoos have recognised how distasteful it is to shove animals in small cages as was once the trend. Zoos like Dubbo Zoo in Australia allow animals to interact and enjoy a more natural habitat.

Security in zoos is always an issue and I still remember the night many years ago that some drugged up teenagers broke into Adelaide Zoo in Australia and slaughtered dozens of defenceless animals in the exhibits in a depraved orgy. Just recently four teenagers were charged over the bashing of a blind and 80 year old flamingo at Adelaide Zoo.

And in 2008 at the Alice Springs Reptile Centre, a vile seven year old fed animals in the exhibit to a crocodile –

Read http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=641204

A turtle, four western blue tongue lizards, two bearded dragons, two thorny devil lizards and a 1.8 metre adult female Spencer’s goanna were fed or led into the jaws of a three-metre, 200kg saltwater crocodile named “Terry”.

Security camera footage at the Alice Springs Reptile Centre showed the smiling youngster also bludgeoning to death a small blue tongue lizard and two more thorny devils during a half-hour of breakfast-time havoc.

It is very sad that the whole zoo trade ever began.  Baby animals were stolen from their mothers and their parents killed. However nowadays zoos have breeding programs and many animals which are almost extinct in the wild (pandas, orangutans, gorillas, tigers and rhinos for example) are at least still alive in zoos throughout the world. With sharing programs between zoos they have been able to breed most endangered animals. However, these animals know nothing of living in the wild and would not survive should they be released in their native environment (if there’s any of it still remaining).

Nevertheless, according to http://www.all-creatures.org/articles/ar-all.html

There is only one way to meaningfully stand up for the rights of all beings, and that is to relinquish one’s own stake in the slavery of animals, and to embrace a lifestyle in which all sentient beings are afforded the most basic of rights – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.


I have found an interesting blog on environmental matters and animals in Singapore wildsingaporenews.blogspot.com/2010_04_27_archive.html 


Talking about nasty humans, allegations have been made that three Torquay College students used a steel pole to kill a kangaroo while on a school camp on September 8 at the Great Otway National Park in Anglesea.

What a charming story. Why are a greater number of children becoming so cold hearted and blood thirsty that they are able to perpetrate such cruelties on defenceless animals?  What does that tell us about society today? These are the same sorts of people who are scaling the walls of zoos at night and slaughtering the exhibits.


And of course, pity any critically endangered animals if a human gets their hands on them.

According to http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/7963752/rare-sighting-in-laos-of-mysterious-beast villagers in Laos captured a critically endangered saola in August and took it to their remote community, but it died after a few days in captivity, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said in a statement. 

One of the world’s rarest animals, The secretive and mysterious twin-horned saola is one of the world’s rarest animals and this was the first sighting in a decade, conservationists say. And well, then it was captured and imprisoned and hey presto, it died within days.

Good work guys.



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The Bear Facts

The subject of bears has once again reared its ugly head this week.

Firstly, a friend drew my attention to the work of an organisation which is trying to stop the ‘sport’ of bear baiting in Pakistan. They’re selling bricks for $10 each to support their work. If you want to help them by buying a brick, go to http://www.bricksforbears.org.au/  . You’ll be no doubt horrified by the way bears are treated – from having their teeth ripped out, to being set upon by dogs. It’s amazing that from being one of the most noble of animals, bears are used so deplorably by humans.

The picture below of a Moon Bear was taken from the post

If you’ve read my earlier blog on the state of animals in China, and in particular, about the way bears are farmed for their bile, you might be cheered by a small improvement in the situation. Apparently, bile from bears has been used in Chinese medicine for 3000 years! Even though now there are at least 50 natural and synthetic substitutes, bears are still kept in cages where a catheter is inserted into their gall bladder so the bile can be drained off. Animals Asia Foundation has rescued 276 bile bears and sent them to a refuge in Chengdu, Sichuan. Last Monday, ten bears were rescued in Weihai in the Shandong province. This means that 19 Chinese provinces are now bear farm-free. There are however, still twelve provinces, containing 10,000 bears still in cages, to go. I immediately clicked onto the website of Animals Asia Foundation to give them a donation. http://www.animalsasia.org/index.php?UID=2J0NIOGTVCWA If I can’t go to China to help with the work, then I fully support anyone who does. A story in the newspaper told of how, during the trip to the Chengdu refuge, they dropped into a hospital on the way, where one of the bears was given emergency gall bladder surgery due to the level of his suffering. In his gall bladder was a metal disc which had been put there to keep the catheter inside. Just imagine 10,000 bears in this situation! And I believe that there are bile bears in Vietnam too.

This rescue mission was sponsored by a Melbourne philanthropist, Sharon Pearson. What a wonderful human being! We hear so much about cruelty, but there are many genuinely kind people around who do wonderful things for animals.

See the Squidoo post on the Moon Bears at http://www.squidoo.com/asiatic-black-bear

I’ve taken the following picture from the website of Sharon Bowles www.sharonbowles.org.uk/images. Sharon Bowles is also fighting to draw public awareness to the plight of the Moon Bear.

A Moon Bear

 And while I’m on about bears, I would like to give a big BOO to the British government for refusing to bow to public pressure and not agreeing to change the hats of the Buckingham Palace Guards from bear skin to a synthetic subtitute in a bid to save the American black bear. The big black fluffy hat is called a BEARSKIN – since it has traditionally been made from the skin of a bear (both black and brown bears). In April, English singer, Joss Stone, posed nude for Peta’s new animal right’s campaign to draw attention to this issue. Surely, since she’s a good friend of Prince William, she can exert a bit of influence? Each hat requires a complete bear skin and each year 50 to 100 skins are ordered for the silly hats. http://www.unbearablecruelty.com/bear-charles.asp

So it’s no joy being a bear on this planet!  I could go on and on, but it’s too depressing!!!

A bear must be patient - they can spend their lives in a tiny cage - but is there an escape?

After my last blog on the joys of shooting (not!), I was rather disturbed to read that Pamela Reeves, a senior vice-president of the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia,  thinks that shooting is a great family sport – “Everyone can come along. With other sports, you’re divided into age groups. Once people try it, they tend to come back.” Yep, I can picture the baby in a pram with a baby gun, a gun toting ten year old, a pregnant mum with a rifle and granny with a shotgun. If shooting is now a fun family sport, this could explain why it’s so dangerous on the streets at night as pre-teens and teenagers trawl the streets looking for someone to kill. Anyone who ventures out on the streets of Sydney at night is asking for trouble.

See www.news.com.au/breaking-news/national/boy-shot-in-hunting-accident-at-garrawilla-state-forest/story-e6frfku9-1225858377101 –   Shooting is not a wholesome family activity.

Has anyone see the Squidoo website? I’ve seen a few great Squidoo posts in the past few weeks which highlight different environmental concerns.

http://www.squidoo.com/baby-hummingbirds-in-my-garden was a lovely post about the birth of baby hummingbirds in a backgarden.

http://www.squidoo.com/Orangutans-And-Palm-Oil is a lens on how palm oil is killing orangutans.

http://www.squidoo.com/tips-for-green-scrapbooking is a lens on some clever ways to recycle.

http://www.squidoo.com/why-are-there-trees  is a lens on the benefits of trees to the world.

Tribune Media Services are reporting that the level of acid in the oceans is increasing at an unpreceded rate. The chemistry of the oceans is changing so rapidly that it is expected that ocean acidity could increase by 200% by the end of the century. According to the National Research Council report, carbon dioxide emissions are increasing so rapidly that natural processes in  the ocean that maintain pH levels, are unable to keep up. Eventually, sea life will be adversely affected as it becomes impossible for them to live in a sea of acid. The one thing that separates Planet Earth from many other inhabitable planets in the universe, is the fact that we have oceans of drinkable water. When we are a planet of acid water, things will be quite diferent.

Post Script

I am soooo happy as I’ve just seen an advertisement on television warning people about eating products containing palm oil as it is resulting in the destruction of jungles in South East Asia and hence the murder of thousands of orangutans as well as all other jungle dwelling animals. I’m so glad that someone has been prepared to pay for this advertisement.  I was extremely disappointed recently when I travelled on Singapore Airlines and they served Nestle Tim Tam Cornettos made from palm oil,  for dessert. I complained on the airline questionnaire.  I’ve recently heard that Nestle is going to stop using palm oil in its products. Cadbury already has, due to loss of sales.

So, it’s wonderful to know that people really care about this issue. Companies are only using palm oil as a cheap substitute for a traditionally used ingredient. In any case, palm oil would be a big artery clogger – so it’s for your health benefit not to eat it.


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Victory for Lab Animals – Sadness for Elephants

A couple of years ago I read that preparations were in place for testing everyday chemicals on five million lab animals.  Apparently, plans were afoot to double-test up to 6,000 chemicals in the programme.

Well, I’ve just seen PETA’s Animal Times for this quarter and they advise that because of their intervention, the European Chemical’s Agency has announced the adoption of a process that will spare as many as 4,410,000 animals from the tests! Isn’t this wonderful?

Since the figure I originally read was 5 million were to be tested, I guess that means that 600,000 will still be tested, but it’s still fantastic that 4.4 milion animals won’t have bleach poured down their throats.

That’s wonderful news for laboratory animals and I will certainly be sending PETA a donation as they do fantastic work for animals.

Sadly, the news is not so bright for elephants.

According to the 7.30 Report on Channel 2 last night, 37,000 elephants were slaughtered last year in Africa for their tusks. The tusks are used in Chinese traditional medicine. 

Although 75 people have armed themselves to protect the elephants, they too have been shot and sometimes killed.  Apparently the killing has accelerated due to a huge increase of seasonal workers from China.

However, as a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) myself, I know that the TCM societies around the world have implemented protocols of not using animal products in their herbal medicines. Products in herbal medicines are selected according to their heating, cooling, blood moving properties etc. However, plant medicines have the same effect as ivory, bear bile, seahorse, tiger bone and all the other animal products which have been traditionally used.

Fortunately, most countries ban the importation of ivory and I was pleased to see that Ebay has banned the sale of ivory products on its website.

So, how can it be that this astonishing number of elephants are being exterminated on a daily basis?  Why is it that the Asian countries have not twigged to the fact that once they’ve wiped out all the elephants, bears, sharks, tuna, tigers directly and all the orangutans indirectly, that there just won’t be any wildlife left? The food chain will be broken into little pieces and our own demise will surely be not far off. 

Of course, it’s not just Asian countries that have been responsible for the plundering of these animals, every country in the world has been complicit. However, the sale of ivory and tiger bone is directly linked to the Chinese herbal market; the demand for shark fin soup in Asia has shown no signs of abatement; bears are caged in Asian farms and ‘milked’ via tubes to their livers, for bile which is used in herbal preparations; bear paw is used in Asian dishes; Asian countries recently refused to ratify an agreement to reduce tuna fishing by 50% so that the world stocks of tuna could be allowed time to restock; and South-East Asian jungles are being burnt down at an alarming rate to make way for palm oil plantations – thus killing every plant and animal inhabitant therein – including orangutans, monkies, snakes, birds and tigers.

It is blatantly apparent that there is no hope for any of the exotic animals on earth. Although there are many, many good people working to save animals, it only takes a couple of dozen determined people with matches (as in the case of burning down jungles); high powered fishing boats; or high powered rifles, to wipe out any number of species.

Unfortunately, those responsible won’t be reading this blog. However, the best we can do is to stop eating tuna; never, ever eat shark soup; never, ever use ivory; and take care when reading labels to make sure that there are no palm oil products in your biscuits, cosmetics, chocolate, toothpaste etc and also that there is no bile in herbal preparations you might buy.

Good luck! It won’t be easy!


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Foie Gross

Sir Roger Moore was, I always thought, one of the best James Bonds. I also still watch reruns of The Saint. He was debonnaire and cool.  I like Sir Roger Moore. But I particularly love geese and ducks as I have raised both.  I had two geese – Lazarus and Gasper – and when I used to come home from work I would call loudly to them from the corner of the street. They would honk back to me to welcome me home. I have raised many ducks and I watched sadly as Daphne duck who had sustained a leg injury and was unable to walk, was cared for by her partner Loulie until she died.  After her death Loulie lost interest in life and soon he too was unable to walk and  passed away.

So I am thrilled to hear that Sir Roger Moore is fighting a most abominable practice – the production of foie gras.

In case you don’t know about foie gras, it is otherwise known as fatty liver. Geese and ducks are force fed for hours each day until their livers burst.  Can you imagine the way these poor animals suffer so that some  ‘privileged’ people may eat a gourmet pate on their crackers? How do you feel when you’ve eaten too much at Christmas? It certainly hurts. Imagine feeling that way all the time. The funny thing is, animals only eat when they’re hungry and birds know that when they eat too much they are too heavy to fly. It’s only people who stuff themselves silly on a regular basis.

The best way to stop this appauling practice is to discourage demand. PETA (People for the ethical treatment of animals) has been fighting to stop Selfridges in the UK from selling foie gras.

When Sir Roger Moore heard about this, he wrote a letter to Selfridges offering to buy their entire stock of foie gras provided that Selfridges never sold it again. When he didn’t receive a reply, he took to the press and airwaves in a campaign to create public aweness of the cruelty involved in producing foie gras.

You can read all about it at PETA.org.uk.

If you’d like to ask the owner of Selfridges to stop selling foie gras, write to the following address:

Mr. Galen Weston,

Selfridges, London,

400 Oxford Street,

London W1A 1AB

United Kingdom.

Good on you, Sir Roger! It’s wonderful to see someone in the public eye drawing attention to ghastly practices and fighting to end them.

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