ASTRUD GILBERTO



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Animals, they need our help!!!

(An essay written by Astrud Gilberto on the many ways we can help animals, and protect them from cruelty)

Notice:  We, at astrudgilberto.com, are glad to inform you that you have our permission to include this article on your website or other types of publications, provided that copyright credit and disclaimer (on bottom of page) are included.  Copyright credit as follows: "©2000-2003 Astrud Gilberto.  All Rights Reserved.".
Also, feel free to provide a link from your website directly to this page.  Here's the URL:  http://www.astrudgilberto.com/animals.htm

Be forewarned that this page contains photos depicting animal cruelty that are very graphic in nature.

PREFACE 

When I started on the project of writing this article, it was not my intention to look for, nor to post “shocking” pictures.  But, during my research on the subject of cruelty to animals, I saw a lot of photos depicting hideous acts of cruelty to animals, specially in laboratories, some of which I'm sure exceed the most bizarre of imaginations in terms of their diabolism; things that I, myself, didn't know of, and was appalled to find out about.  They made me cry my eyes out.  Many of the photos I viewed showed human hands conducting incredibly gruesome tortures on restrained, totally defenseless and innocent animals.  But, as much as they've made my heart ache with sadness, they also made me reflect on more ways that I can try to help and make a difference.  The more I “dug” for the truth, the more I realized the need to "take the gloves off", and expose what I had seen about cruelty to animals on this modest attempt to contribute to the lessening of their suffering.  I concluded that it would be actually dishonest of me to write about cruelty to animals without telling and showing it as it is.  I hope that in spite of it being difficult to look at, that you will, because only knowledge can promote positive change.  Nothing good can come from us ignoring what has been happening to animals in terms of the horrors inflicted upon them, without enough humans interfering in their defense.  I needed to show the truth, and it was with a heavy heart that I went about selecting the photos to illustrate the text, which was so difficult to do.  So, I chose pictures that reveal the truth, but yet are not the most gruesome ones I had viewed.

Hopefully, you, the reader of this, will be moved to take some part (however small) in defending animal rights, whether in direct, or indirect ways.  I find this to be quite possible, because, as a result of my own enlightenment through the process of researching for this essay, for example, I already took action on things I was ignorant about, myself:  I am terminating an account I had with The Bank of New York because they have been guilty of providing financial aid to the Huntingdon Life Science lab (an epithet for animal cruelty); I also will no longer contribute to a couple of charities that I found out to be guilty of promoting cruel and unnecessary testing on animals.   

ANIMALS  -  THEY NEED OUR HELP!!!  -  by Astrud Gilberto

"We have enslaved the rest of animal creation and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form." - William Ralph Inge, renown Christian religious leader and literary author.

  

Dear "Kindred Spirits",

Cruelty to animals is an issue that concerns most of us that take pride in being "spiritual beings". Although none of us would be capable of personally inflicting pain and suffering on an animal, inadvertently, at some point, we may have contributed to cruelty and abuse to animals. I write this open-letter to you because I, myself, in my younger years, was not aware of the extent of some of the cruelty and abuse inflicted upon animals that I know about now, most of which (if not all) could be avoided/aborted if only we would all become aware of ways that we can contribute to the protection of animals and of their rights.

I am not suggesting that we should all become activists in the literal sense of the word, but even without joining an organization, without being "officially" an activist, even if you are not a 100% vegetarian, there are still so many little and big things that we all can do to help animals and to support the animal rights’ cause!  Don’t think for a moment that any "little" action that you are capable and willing to take would not make a difference, because "if it wasn’t for every drop of water, there wouldn’t be an ocean" (quoting Briggite Bardot, on the same issue).

I am aware that this essay barely scratches the surface on the issue of abuse, enslavement and cruelty that is inflicted upon animals, worldwide.  I do not have the knowledge nor the means at this time to write a complete essay about this most disturbing facet of human behavior.  All I know is that as members of the human race, we are guilty of turning away from the horrors done to animals either because of our lack of knowledge, denial (as in refusing to acknowledge such ugly reality), or because of our refusal to take action due to our selfish self-absorption with our own individual problems.  Every bit of cooperation and involvement counts. Gradually, we can take steps towards the betterment of human treatment of animals, and maybe all of these horrific stories of animal abuse that occur in our lifetime will one day be told to future generations as tales about a civilization that used to exist which was comprised of humans consumed by greed and capable of committing satanic acts of cruelty onto all other living species; who were insensitive to the extent of engaging in the killing of animals and called it a "sport".

Maybe one day, humans will realize that animals that inhabit this planet of ours got here by the will of God, just as we, human-animals, did.

So, consider this essay to be a very modest attempt to call your attention to some simple ways by which you may contribute to the welfare of animals.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. To ignore evil is to become an accomplice to it.” Martin  Luther King 

As sad as the topic of cruelty to animals is, there is an important and positive side to reporting on it. I’m referring to the kindness and dedication of people who care about animals, who rescue them, who give them loving homes, who fight for their rights.  In short, I’m referring to the power of love.  I was appalled and shocked by what I found in terms of human cruelty to animals, but I was also equally surprised to see the gigantic amount of organizations that help them, and try to counteract and confront the evil-doers.   It is on this positive note that I will begin this essay.  By viewing the photos below, an eloquent example of the miracles that love and caring can promote, we can be reassured that there is hope.  We can also appreciate the desperate need that exists for each one of us to get involved in the fight for the protection of animals from human cruelty.   

This is "Armella" when she was rescued, and Armella after having been loved and cared for.

(photo from the "Bark" organization website)

To view more photos of love-miracles, as posted by the "prairienet/bark organization", click here.

ANIMAL TESTING  -  SHAMEFUL HUMAN BARBARISM!

"I know of no achievement through vivisection, no scientific discovery, that could not have been obtained without such barbarism and cruelty. The whole thing is evil." -  Charles Mayo (founder of The Mayo Clinic)

A Beagle puppy - one of the millions of victims of the Huntingdon Life Science lab (photo from the "Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty" website)

Click here to read about Huntington Labs:                        

The time has come for dramatic change!  With a wide and growing array of non-animal research methods rendering vivisection increasingly obsolete, animal experiments conducted today could be eliminated with the full-scale implementation of non-animal methods - without risk to human health. However, the research, drug and chemical industries - entrenched in animal research for legal, economic and political reasons - perpetuate the myth that animal experimentation is necessary!  In the US, for example, laws establishing  guidelines for mandatory testing on animals for certain products date back to the 1920's!!!  We need to contact people in our government and express our outrage against the animal testing “industry”!   We need to promote change and the liberation of animals from human barbarism!

(photo from the "No Compromise" website)  

His crime to deserve this fate?  Just being an animal...  

-  Do not invest in any company that directly exploits animals, that conduct "animal testing", or that financially support those who do! There are alternatives nowadays to animal testing, and there are several organizations dedicated to the ideal of one day ending all experiments on animals. Of these organizations, I would like to point out  The Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, at 111 Market Place / Suite 840, Baltimore, MD 21202-6709 – Tel.:  (410) 223-1693, and also the American Fund for Alternatives to Animal Research, located at 175 W. 12th St., Suite 16G, New York, NY 10011-8220; tel. (212) 989-8073.  Making a personal contribution to one of such organizations is, in my opinion, a wonderful way to fight unnecessary suffering imposed on innocent animals.  Your contribution, regardless of how modest, represents a brick in the construction of better moral guidelines in regards to "animal testing" and in the attainment of the ideal of one day eliminating altogether painful and deadly experiments performed on them.

-  On Animal Testing and labs:  During my research on animal cruelty for this article, it became obvious from the very large amount of mentions on so many websites, that Huntingdon Life Science, a lab originally from Great Britain and the largest lab of its kind, is regarded worlwide by anyone who cares about the welfare of animals, as the epithet for animal cruelty.  Large crowds of people all over the world often take to the streets to demonstrate against their most inhumane activities.  They are regarded as the greatest perpetrators of unscrupulous and inexcusable cruelty to innocent animals. Their experiments are mostly conducted on Beagle pups, cats and monkeys, as well as on rabbits, rodents and farm animals.  Death, unfortunately, is not the worst thing done to them:  in their facilities, a large number of animals are indeed killed on a daily basis (reportedly around 500), but only after having been subjected to horrific, painful and diabolic experiments that could last as long as several days, weeks or even months.   

In spite of the fact that Science already has many effective alternatives to animal testing available, labs like HLS continue instead, by choice, to inflict hideous acts of cruelty onto animals, ignoring these alternatives.  For example, tests for skin and eye irritants, are still being conducted “big time” every day on animals in labs, depositing blinding chemicals into their eyes, promoting burn lesions on their skins and corroding their internal organs while still alive, in spite of the fact that these tests could be conducted, instead, making use of things such as “artificial” or “EpiDerm” skin or “EpiOcular” (alternative cornea made from manufactured tissue), cloned human cells, or “virtual” organs.  I read many arguments against animal testing that include the fact that their accuracy, as conceded by lab's own scientists, is very low (5% to 25%) because of the inadequacy that stems from the fact that the tests are conducted on animals, but they are for substances used or consumed by humans. 

(photo from the "Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty" website) 

According to what I have been reading about them, what is also so disturbing about the Huntingdon Life Science lab’s activities (and probably other similar organizations) is that they offer their services for hire to any company or product in the world, apparently regardless of whether the tests requested are mandatory by law or not, whether they have true scientific merit, or of the amount of suffering that the testing will inflict on their "subjects" (I, personally prefer the word victims).  In other words, it seems that to them, the lab’s activities are strictly a matter of “business” (as in $$$). Their “scientists” (I placed the word in quotes because I have a different view on what a scientist really is) design and supervise the performance of gruesome tests, which, as revealed by reports by under-cover investigations, include having inflicted severe physical pain on animals without the proper anesthetics, and even the dissection of an animal’s body (in other words, an autopsy) while the animal was still alive.  They have been fined and received citations by the British and by American governmental authorities for their transgressions in their treatment of animals.  These reports make it obvious that their activities are conducted with no acceptable moral guidelines for the humane treatment of the animals, their death-row innocent prisoners.  The perseverant campaign against them, by activists such as SHAC (Stop Hungtindon Animal Cruelty) and PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), have conquered some victories, thus far, inasmuch as they have succeeded in diminishing the lab's financial assets, as a result of having exposed their inhumane activities to the whole world, which included, besides the barbaric tests administered by their "scientists", also abuse to Beagle puppies and monkeys, by their employees. To read about their financial losses in Britain, as reported by BBC News, click here.  If you care to read more about some of the documented horrors in animal cruelty at Huntingdon Life Science lab, click here  Sadly, the lab, in recent years, has found refuge in the USA… 

photo from the "Huntingdon Sucks" website

Renowned book author, Dr. Neal Barnard, M.D., founder of PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) says on an interview given in 2001, posted by Salon.com:

“ Q:  What do you make of Huntingdon Life Science's close brush with bankruptcy, thanks to massive and sustained public protest in England?

A:  I think the sooner Huntingdon Life Science and other labs like them are out of business the better off we all will be. I don't see them as providing a service. They are getting potentially dangerous products on the market using out-of-date animal testing methods that are a hair's breadth away from a sham and obviously extremely cruel. Frankly, I suspect you would almost have to be a psychopath to work in a place like that. If you've seen the undercover videotapes recovered from Huntingdon and other labs, you've seen people quite literally torturing animals. If the job is to take animals, restrain them and force them to inhale or digest toxic substances day after day - the Mother Teresa’s of the world aren't going to take that job. And you can imagine who will.”  To read additional/detailed  information on the horrors at Huntingdon Life Science, as posted by the "Fortune City" website, click here 

I find it inexcusable and perverse that, on behalf mostly of cosmetic and chemical products, HLS and other similar labs have been terrorizing and killing defenseless animals, inflicting tests on them that include crippling, burning, poisoning, blinding, mutilating and suffocating them, besides slicing their bodies open, all the while ignoring alternative tests available that require no live victims.  As for the merit of such atrocities committed on behalf of medical studies and of the pharmaceutical companies, there’s strong evidence, including statistical, that such experiments have no practical benefit to anyone, since they are unreliable, and sometimes dangerously misleading.  Dr. Neal Bernard, M.D. says: “Enormous variations exist among rats, rabbits, dogs, pigs, and human beings, and meaningful scientific conclusions cannot be drawn about one species by studying another,” says Neal Barnard, M.D. “Non-animal methods provide a more accurate method of testing and can be interpreted more objectively.”.  On their website, where one can find many scientific reports written by their physicians-members on subjects correlated to animal testing and other animal cruelty issues, The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine explains their position:  “PCRM advocates alternatives to harming animals for educational or research purposes. We have worked to put a stop to gruesome experiments, such as the military’s cat-shooting studies, DEA narcotics experiments, and monkey self-mutilation projects. We also promote non-animal methods in medical education. Currently, more than 75 percent of U.S. medical schools have dropped their animal labs for medical students.” To go to their website, and read many enlightening articles, click here.  The “National Anti Vivisection Society” (NAVS), and the “New England Anti Vivisection Society” (NEAVS) also provide clear evidence that testing on animals is not only inhumane, but unnecessary.  Here are links to their websites:  For NAVS click here; For NEAVS: click here  

The Media usually refers to animal testing as a “controversial issue”.  It sure is!  Ask the CEOs of the financial institutes that back up these torture chambers for animals such as Huntingdon Life Science, and they’ll tell you that to them, this is strictly a matter of a financial investment.  Ask the executives that run and approve the activites at these torture chambers, and they’ll tell you that they are merely  “product developers”.   Ask the monsters wearing  the disguise of white uniforms that make them look like “scientists” who are the designers and perpetrators of the premeditated horrific tortures inflicted on restrained  animals (using their live bodies as mere recipients of any kind of freaky experiment that they get paid to do),  well... it will be impossible to understand what they'll say, because they'll mumble a lot of garbage which might sometimes sound like something to do with "Science"....  Ask me, and I'll tell you that all three are varieties of demoniacal beings who bring Hell to Earth and are unworthy of being called a human being just because their body resembles one. 

 

photos from the “Kinship Circle” website.

We can become their voice. We can promote justice for them.  We can demand from our government to grant them protection under the law. Regardless of our religion, we can pray to God to help us, so that we can help the animals. They need us! 

Let's unite against unnecessary suffering of animals at labs!

 WE NEED TO MAKE THINGS  BETTER!

We need to be in touch with lawmakers, in order to pressure them into passing better and additional laws that limit the amount of pain and suffering that can be inflicted upon animals in laboratories, and banning labs from conducting experiments on animals that could be performed utilizing other scientific methods that do not require a live being as a victim.  We also need to contact governmental authorities and urge them to grant more financial aid to organizations that are working on researching alternatives to testing on animals.  Keep in mind that only 3% of all experiments conducted on animals is for medical purposes! The following link will take you to a governmental website with information on how to contact US senators, including their e-mail addresses:  click here

 

  

(photo from the " No Compromise" website)

The recent sabotage of the Animal Welfare Act in the U.S.

-  The little mouse on the above picture, who is being injected with a needle directly into his eye, like millions of other rodents and birds used for painful and sacrificial testing at laboratories, lost the little bit of protection under the law that ensured him humane treatment in the hands of lab "scientists", in May of 2002.  If you do not believe in choosing cruel and unregulated treatment of animal in laboratories over the humane treatment of all animals, I’m sure you will be appalled by this:

“Animal Welfare Act -  Since 1970, the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) has ensured that "all warm-blooded animals" used in  research receive adequate food, housing, and veterinary care. As a result of pressure from the research community, however, mice, rats, and birds were excluded from the definition of "warm-blooded animals",  even though these species make up an estimated 95 percent of the over 25 million animals used in U.S. laboratories today.  As a result of  an amendment attached to the 2002 Farm Bill by Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC), powerful biomedical research lobbyists have now succeeded in excluding these species permanently from AWA coverage.  If you care about all animals in laboratories, contact your U.S. Senators and Representatives now and let them know how disappointed you are in the passage of the Helms amendment.  Tell them you believe that all species of animals used in laboratories are entitled to the basic protections of the Animal Welfare Act.” (quote excerpted from an article posted by the “Center for Animal Laboratories Welfare” on their website).

-  We need to contact governmental authorities and express our belief that birds, mice, and other rodents are living beings capable of experiencing pain and suffering, just as humans are, and that we find it inconceivable that they have been officially deemed unworthy of guidelines for their humane treatment at laboratories, under the the Animal Welfare Act!

On a related subject:  I applaud the German government, which has on May 2002 granted animals legal rights of protection under their constitution!

 

“I am sometimes asked  'Why do you spend so much of your time and money talking about kindness to animals when there is so much cruelty to men?'  I answer: 'I am working at the roots.’”  -  George T.Angell, humanitarian literary author (1868 - 1909).

-  Beware of some charitable organizations! If you are a charitable person and a believer in the humane treatment of animals, do not contribute to charities that, themselves, use donated money to conduct research on animals.  I would like you to read at least one example of incredibly gruesome and horrific unnecessary tests administered to animals by a popular American charitable organization (unbeknownst to their contributors), keeping in mind that this is just one example of that sort of thing.  For the complete story on the American Heart Association, as revealed by Christopher Lee, on the PETA website, click here   

What can one do about this?  A lot!  You can write letters to them and let them know that you may consider making a donation if they would stop killing and inflicting torture on animals.  Next time you receive a solicitation for a donation, make use of their own envelope provided for a reply, and let them know of your strong disapproval.  If you don't feel like writing a letter "per se", a couple of sentences will suffice such as "I do not contribute to charities that practice testing on animals because I know that there are  procedures available for performing tests without live beings as victims. Until you change your policies about this, please remove my name from your mailing list". Let's give some of them the "benefit of the doubt":  let's assume that some of the people in charge of running some of these charitable organizations might not be informed enough about the scientific alternatives to animal testing; if this should be the case (or in either case), the more letters they receive objecting to their sad choice, the larger the chance is that they'll renounce their practice of sacrificial and cruel animal testing. 

-  For the reasons I mentioned above, I believe it is crucial that you become aware of which health related charitable organizations do animal testing, click here.  To find out what health related charitable organizations do not do animal testing, click here.  If you would like to make a contribution to any organization that is not health related, I believe that it would be unlikely that they would have anything to do with animal testing, but I suggest that if you have any doubts, you should still inquire about it by  contacting them directly.   There's an enormous number of charities that benefit animals, that you can find by searching the Internet.  I caution you about animal shelters that kill animals, such as most affiliated to the ASPCA (sometimes also called "SPCA").  So, please make sure that the one that you contribute to does indeed identify itself as a "no kill shelter".  Keep in mind that shelters can use all kinds of donations besides money, things that they need to feed and house their animals (even old towels, blankets and  things like that).  I'd like to give you some links to lists for no-kill shelters and animal sanctuaries and other organizations that benefit animals in the US, although I cannot avow for them being complete.  For a list of no-kill shelters, provided by the "Save Our Strays" website, click here  For a list of animal sanctuaries, provided by the "Green People" website, click here  I also would like you to have this link to a list of many animal rights organizations, as provided by the "All Creatures" organization website:  click here The “Netvet Animal Welfare” website has posted an extensive directory of international organizations for the protection of animals; to go there, click here

-  Some of the products you use may be made by companies that perform animal testing. Although it is true that some pharmaceutical and chemical products in the US are required by law to be tested on animals, many companies that produce products that are not required by law to be tested on animals, such as cosmetics and household products, still choose to conduct such tests, and these are particularly the ones that I suggest that we all boycott!  There are many alternatives to those products.  If you would like to be informed as to which companies do animal testing, click here.  For a list of companies that do not do animal testing, click here.

-  About animal testing requested by antiquated and obsolete laws written in the 1920s:  It is up to us to contact lawmakers and urge them to review them and replace them with laws that are in keeps with contemporary scientific accomplishments in non-animal testing.  The following is a very enlightening quote, excerpted from the PETA website:

 “What Can Be Done About Animal Tests Required by Law? Although animal testing of certain pharmaceuticals and chemicals is still mandated by law, the same arguments against using animals in cosmetics testing are valid when applied to the pharmaceutical and chemical industries.  These industries are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, respectively, and animal tests are now required by law–laws that were developed haphazardly in the 1920s. We know that non-animal test methods exist right now and that these tests are more accurate in predicting toxicity than are crude, cruel tests on animals. It is the responsibility of the companies that kill animals in order to bring their products to market to convince the regulatory agencies that there is a better way to determine product safety. Companies resist progress because the crude nature of animal tests allows them to market many products that might be determined too toxic if cell culture tests were used. Let companies know how you feel about this.”   

I totally agree with the idea that companies, themselves, can and should contact the FDA and EPA, and urge them to revise their laws that are not only outmoded, but also  insensitive to the unnecessary suffering imposed on living beings!

This puppy came into this world healthy and beautiful.  He had a mother who loved him.  But, he was taken away to a lab where sadistic/heartless "scientists" did horrible things to him and watched him suffer for a long time, before putting him out of his misery.  Then, they discarded his little abused body into a trash can.  This is what goes on in labs everyday involving thousands of puppies like this little guy.

(photo from the "Huntingdon Sucks" website ) 

...and here you thought only al-Qaeda terrorists did nasty things to doggies!..

“As custodians of the planet it is our responsibility to deal with all species with kindness, love, and compassion. That these animals suffer through human cruelty is beyond understanding.” - Richard Gere, contemporary American film actor.

-  Do not contribute to cruelty to horses!  If you are a pre-menopausal or post-menopausal woman, DO NOT take Premarin. The pregnant female horses raised for the purpose of producing this hormone (extracted from their urine) are kept in unspeakable cruel conditions.  PLEASE, I urge you, if you do take hormones, ask your doctor to place you on another hormone other than Premarin, or consult with a nutritionist for natural/herbal alternatives to prescription hormones.  If you would like to read more about the abuse to horses for the production of "Premarin", as well as many other subjects related to horses, please click here to go to the Equine Advocates website.

-  Do not buy cosmetic products that are produced by laboratories that do testing on animals. If you would like to be informed as to which cosmetic companies do not perform cruel testing on animals, click here.

"I had bought two male chimps from a primate colony in  Holland. They lived next to each other in separate cages for several months before I used one as a [heart] donor. When we put him to sleep in his cage in preparation for the operation, he chattered and cried incessantly. We attached no significance to this, but it must have made a great impression on his companion, for when we removed the body to the operating room, the other chimp wept bitterly and was inconsolable for days. The incident made a deep impression on me. I vowed never again to experiment with such sensitive creatures." - Dr. Christian Bernard, South African surgeon, pioneer in heart transplant (1922 - 2001) 

What kind of society allows "scientists" to do this to a cat??

\

Cat restrained in preparation for some diabolic "testing"

(photo from the "No Compromise" website)

...and here you thought that mad scientists had been put "out of business", along with the fall of the Nazi government...

"Forgive them Father for they know not what they do!" - Jesus Christ

 BY REMAINING SILENT, YOU BECOME  A PARTNER IN ALL THIS !

-  About animal rights organizations/activists:  As in all movements seeking to promote positive change, a small minority of animal rights activists, driven by uncontrolled passion, engage sometimes in actions that are judged “too extreme” by some.  I’d like to quote Hal Davis (lyricist) on words he wrote for a Burt Bacharach song: “One drop of rain doesn’t make the sun go away”.  I urge you not to lose sight of the worthiness of the causes embraced by animal rights activists because you object to the actions of a small minority of them.  In my opinion, all worthy movements sometimes do attract a group of fanatics that might engage in excesses, whether with their words or with their actions.  But, I know better than giving up on feminism, for example, because of a hand-full of “man haters” among them… :)  So, I ask of you:  do your share of support for animal rights causes in the way that you judge to be proper (we all draw lines on different spots…).  Please believe that every little bit counts.

My knowledge of the activities conducted by animal rights activists is limited to reading about them, but judging by what I've read, these are my conclusions:

I am convinced that the vast majority of animal rights organizations and activists are law abiding, non-violent, and filled with good intentions, albeit true that some non-violent activists sometimes engage in civil disobedience during their demonstrations, for which they are often jailed.  

Some members of some animal rights organizations considered to be "radical", are sometimes charged with other crimes, as sometimes they apparently engage in activities legally defined as harassment, and in the destruction of property belonging to the persons they view as perpetrators of crimes against animals.  On the few occasions when daring activists have succeeded in rescuing some animals from chambers of tortures, of course, they have been also charged with "burglary", since the animals are legally defined as property of the labs.   However, in all fairness to them (again, according to my own research on the subject), I must say that I did not read anywhere any reports of any animal rights activist torturing or killing a living being.  I only read about one isolated incident when, reportedly, some unidentified person/persons "believed to be animal rights activists" physically assaulted some high rank executive of the Huntigndon Life Science lab, in Great Britain.

The bottom line, as I see it, is that, within the boundaries of non-violence and human dignity, we all, in any way possible, truly need to engage in animal rights activism (as in "don't just stand there, do something!"), to fight the injustices and horrors done by Man to other species, particularly in the last few decades. 

“Animal experimentation is the blackest of all the black crimes that a man is at present committing... We should be able to refuse to live if the price of living be the torture of sentient beings...  I abhor animal experimentation with my whole soul. All the scientific discoveries stained with innocent blood I count as of no consequence... The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” - Mahatma Gandhi, Indian spiritual leader and  philosopher (1869 - 1948)

           

Animal “Factories” who supply laboratories, and Animal Testing Laboratories :  Big Profitable Businesses, with no interest in acknowledging animal testing alternatives

(photos from the "No Compromise" website)

   A Kitten whose eye has been destroyed, and Large Number of Rabbits restrained so as to not be able to move at all, with only their heads exposed to the mad and cowardly "scientists" who will "test" on their eyes until they are totally blinded.   I ask you:  is this really  civilization?  Should we allow this to continue to take place behind laboratories' closed doors?   Don't be a partner in cruelty to animals!

There are so many ways to be kind to animals...

-  As I've already suggested, do make a contribution to an organization that benefits animals and fights for their rights and for the implementation of better laws to protect them.  Again, don’t think that a little bit doesn’t count.  Even as little as a few dollars, given to an animal shelter, for example, can buy some food or medicine for the animals in their care, and may even save a life.  Given to an Animal Rights organization, it will help them with their expenses in order to conduct their campaign against cruelty and injustice done to defenseless animals.  Here again are some useful links, to select charitable organizations that benefit animals:  For a list of no-kill shelters, provided by the "Save Our Strays" website, click here  For a list of animal sanctuaries, provided by the "Green People" website, click here  I also would like you to have this link to a list of many animal rights organizations, as provided by the "All Creatures" organization website:  click here 

“Bless the beasts and the children, for in this world they have no voice, they have no choice” -  excerpt from  lyrics to the famous song “Bless the Beasts and the Children” by Barry de Vorzon & Perry Botkin

"Rock the Ranch" is a charitable organization with a marvelous concept.  It helps, houses and assists abused children and abused animals, in a miraculous way promoting healing and teaching them to trust again.  There, abused and neglected children take care of abused and neglected animals, healing each other's wounds and promoting their recovery.  To go to their website, click here 

-  Help animals by shopping!   Regardless of whether or not you can afford to make a contribution to an organization that protects and help animals, you can still contribute to their welfare by shopping for articles listed for sale at websites that benefit animals.  Almost all of the organizations that protect animals, nowadays, have items for sale. This is an example of a store with items for sale for pets and for humans (from the "Hearts United for Animals" website): click here

-  Do you have a bit of free time, even if just one day of the week?  Did you ever think of volunteering a bit of your time at a local shelter?  Perhaps there are things that you can do at home too, such as computer work for them… 

Do report any cruelty to animals that you witness, whether done by to a particular animal or in "grand scale", such as at a farm, a pet store, a puppy mill, etc.  You can report to any of the several PETA's organizations (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) which exist in several countries, worlwide.  Besides PETA, In the US you may also contact the Humane Society of the United States for that purpose.  Click here for their website.

...making sure we don't contribute to their suffering

-  Never make use of mouse traps that are cruel and sadistic such as the horrific ones that their feet gets glued onto and the poor mouse suffers agonizing long hours of unspeakable suffering before finally dying from starvation and dehydration.  There are numerous humane trapping products that ensures that no physical harm is inflicted on the mouse, until you can release it in a wooded area.  Here's an example of a humane product for trapping mice:  click here

-  Never, never, never abandon a pet in the streets!  If you can no longer care for your pet, please give the animal a chance to find another home with a human family.  Take it to a no-kill shelter, or place pamphlet ads of "free to good home" in commercial establishments that provide a bulletin board, or at your veterinarian’s office, until you do find someone who will take your pet in.

Some people are under the naive impression that by discarding an animal in a populated area that they will wind up in a new home with a nice family to take care of them.  But, that is usually not what happens.  Abandoned cats and dogs wander around, desperately trying to find their way back to their homes, confused and frightened.  They are often victims of car accidents or of an act of human cruelty.  Scared cats often climb up a tree and may not know how to come down.  If they were raised indoors, of course they will never be able to fetch for food and water for themselves, and will suffer from hunger and thirst.  Then, of course, eventually, if they are still alive after a while, they'll be picked up by the "pound" where they are usually destroyed.  Sadly, there are many stories of animals rescued and taken to the “pound” that go from there to laboratories.

Avoid at all cost giving your pet to the ASPCA, because they do kill all animals that are not adopted after a very short period (I believe one week).

-  If your pet has access to the outdoors, be sure that it wears an ID tag, at all times!

-  If you own a dog or any other pet that may be capable of attacking a person or another animal, be sure that the animal is confined to your property or under your control when in public, at all times.  Only God knows how many innocent dogs have been sentenced to death, being punished with the loss of their own lives, paying for the irresponsibility or carelessness of their human owners, who often trained them to be vicious and then neglect to protect them from the hazards of their learned "attack skills"!

When you look at a "beautiful fur coat", think of how many gorgeous  animals were brutally entrapped, hurt, terrorized and killed for it. 

"Here's the rest of your fur coat"

(Photo of pop star Sophie Ellis Bextor, who has joined PETA’s campaign against the fur industry).  To read about it, click here

Boycott the fur industry!  Let's not be partners in the crimes that they commit against animals, entrapping and killing them in horrific ways.  Regrettably, too many people are not fully aware of the horrors suffered by the original owners of the coats they buy. 

(photo from the "Mercy for Animals" website)

-  The shameful fur industry:  Knowing that there are so many alternatives to "fur" within fashionable garments made without the sacrifice of animals (including faux fur coats), I find it almost unbelievable that anyone in this day and age would want to buy a "real" fur coat.  Please take a moment to read about what the fur industry does, in order to manufacture their products.  The “ Mercy for Animals” website has truthful and compelling essays about many of the issues that deal with cruelty to animals, including the horrors of the “fur industry”.  For an article on “Fur Trapping”, posted by the "Mercy for Animals" organization, click here.  From the same website, you can read about “Fur Farming": click here

When you buy a fur coat, this is what you're paying for:

                                

(photos from the "Mercy for Animals" website)

If you would like to play a part in the battle against the cruelty of the fur industry, there's plenty you can do, besides not buying fur items.  Please go to the "Fur is Dead" website, and learn about little and big things that you can do to help:  click here 

CRUELTY IN FARMING

 

(photo from the  “Farm Sanctuary” website) 

 “On profit-driven factory farms, veal calves are confined to dark wooden crates so small that they are prevented from lying down or scratching themselves. These creatures feel; they know pain. They suffer pain just as we humans suffer pain. Egg-laying hens are confined to battery cages. Unable to spread their wings, they are reduced to nothing more than an egg-laying machine. . . . The law clearly requires that these poor creatures be stunned and rendered insensitive to pain before the slaughtering process begins. Federal law is being ignored. Animal cruelty abounds. It is sickening. It is infuriating. Barbaric treatment of helpless, defenseless creatures must not be tolerated even if these animals are being raised for food—and even more so, more so. Such  insensitivity is insidious and can spread and is dangerous. Life must be respected and dealt with humanely in a civilized society.” - Senator Robert Byrd (on the floor of the U.S. Senate, July 9, 2001)

...and make sure that we are not contributing to cruel farming!

-  If you do consume animal meat (beef, pork, lamb, etc.), be sure that you are consuming not only meats that are labeled organic, but also products that have the “free farmed” label.  In this way, you are not contributing to the horrific cruelty inflicted on animals raised for food in “factory farms”.  What's also gratifying about eating organic meat is that it is, by far, a much healthier way to eat for you and your family.  If you are not familiar with what exactly “organic beef” means, I give you here a link to the Maverick Ranch website, which explains in detail the requisites for meats to be classified organic: click here.  From the “American Humane Organization” website, I give you a directory of stores in the U.S. and in Canada where “free farmed” labeled  products can be found: click here. 

-  Here's a fine example as to how you can be an "activist" for animal rights without having to become a "member" of any organization:  Insist with the manager(s) of the supermarket you buy from that they should carry meat and dairy products labeled "free farmed".  Talk to your friends about this and suggest that they do the same!

A shameful word in the English language: "Veal" -  Horrific suffering inflicted upon innocent baby animals

-  Boycott "veal"!!!  If you do consume meat, DO NOT buy veal!  I’m sure you can find plenty of alternatives of other meat products that do not inflict as much pain and suffering on the animals, prior to slaughter.  The calves raised to produce "veal" only spend 24 hours with their loving mother.  Then, they are taken away from her, and are placed in solitaire isolation, in crates which are purposefully made very small, to ensure that the calves cannot engage in any movement at all, so as not to develop their muscles.  They are generally fed a milk substitute intentionally lacking in iron and other essential nutrients. This diet keeps the animals anemic and creates the pale pink or white color desired in the finished product.  Craving iron, the calves lick urine-saturated slats and any metallic parts of their stalls.  Farmers also withhold water from the animals, who, always thirsty, are driven to drink a large quantity of the high-fat liquid feed.  Because of such extremely unhealthy living conditions and restricted diets, calves are susceptible to a long list of diseases, including chronic pneumonia and "scours" of constant diarrhea. The calves often suffer from wounds caused by the constant rubbing against their inhumanely small crates.  Consequently, they must be given massive doses of antibiotics and other drugs just to keep them alive.  The antibiotics are passed on to consumers, in the meat.  If you want to read more about this tragic inhumane human behavior, click here.

I say: Let Us All  Boycott "Veal"!!!

(photo from the "Humane Farmers Association" website)

A calf raised for "veal" lies in the inhumane slatted stall in which it spends all of his short life, unable to move, with no mother, no sunlight or decent food                 

-  There are numerous other acts of cruelty to farm animals besides what's done to the calves raised for "veal".  All too often, inhumane living conditions are imposed upon other farm animals (particularly pigs and chickens).  Animals raised for human consumption are often slaughtered in ways that do not comply with guidelines that ensure the least amount of pain, suffering and terror inflicted on them.  So, even if you do consume animal products, I'm sure you'll agree that things like that are totally unacceptable, if we are to call ourselves "humans".  Luckily, there are those who object, and who are trying to make it better.  In the US, besides several animal rights organizations, there's the honorable "Humane Farmers Association" (HFA); in order to read about this subject and learn about ways that you can help click here for their website. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has conducted investigations and campaigns against cruel farming, and has had many wonderful accomplishments. To read about them, click here.  Reading these stories about such victories against the "inhumans", is a testament to the fact that every little bit of action and every bit of progress counts, and I believe serves us as encouragement to join in the fight for animal rights, in any way that we can.  

-  If you do consume chicken meat, buy organic chickens!  Besides being healthier for you, most organic chickens are raised in "free range" farms, where the chickens are kept in a little bit more humane conditions while alive, as they are usually able to move around a few inches, and may even see daylight... Chickens raised at  "non-organic" farms are often kept in most inhumane conditions, in compartments so small and over crowded that they cannot move around, not even an inch.  Beware that some of the so called organic chickens do not come from free range farms, as the term might be used only to indicate that the chickens are given organic feed.  So, be sure that the words "free-range" appear on the label of the product.  Here's one illustrative example of cruelty to chickens, as it occurs in the United States: click here. The same criterium should also be applied to the consumption of turkey meat.

-  If you do consume eggs, be sure to buy organic eggs, for the same reasons cited above.  Chickens raised for the productions of eggs at non-organic farms are often  kept in "factory like" facilities, and all too often in very inhumane conditions, stuffed into in battery cages, with no regard for them being living creatures (as described by senator Robert Byrd). 

-  The horror of "Foie gras" pate:  The following is a quote from the PETA website, explaining how Foie gras is obtained:  "Foie gras is produced by force-feeding ducks and geese. A long, inflexible pipe is shoved down their throats three times a
day and several pounds of feed are pumped into their stomachs, causing their livers to become diseased and swollen.  Many experience severely lacerated necks and ruptured internal organs because of the intense pressure and extremely rough handling. The stress and pain often result in the birds’ being unable to walk and having to resort to moving themselves over the wire cage floors by pushing with their wings".  I say we can all live without Foie gras!  Let's never be partners in this kind of crime!

-  Consumption of fish:  I, personally, find that what’s commonly understood by “fishing” is a very cruel way to kill fish.  The slow suffocation of fish out of water until they finally die is something very disturbing.  As to the way they are kept until killed, fish farms are just as cruel to fish as factory farms are to farm animals, for they are kept with little or no space to swim around, endure much suffering (including mutilation and diseases) as a result of the over-crowded tanks, and are often killed in cruel ways, too.  So,  I would have to say that, preferably, those who consume fish should buy the ones that have had a “good life” (like in the ocean, or a river), prior to being caught.  Here’s one example of the kind of cruelty often inflicted on fish, in fish farms (from the “Compassion in World Farming” website):  click here.

Consumption of lobster:  I could not find anything about catching, keeping lobster, or killing them that is not extremely cruel, so I’ll refrain from making any personal suggestion or recommendation.  Even amongst people for the protection of animal rights, there seems to be controversy on what would be a merciful way to kill them.  It looks like there isn’t one.  Here’s an interesting article about crustaceous and cruelty done to them, from the “Shelfish Network” website:  click here.

-  If you do consume tuna fish, be sure to buy only tuna that has the “Flipper Seal of Approval”.  Otherwise, you will be contributing to the unnecessary slaughtering of hundreds of thousands of dolphins per year, who die in the driftnets, gillnets, and purse seine nets utilized by the tuna  industry.  These dolphin deaths are totally avoidable, since alternative fishing techniques that do not cause dolphin deaths are available and  economically viable.  To read more about this, please click on the following link that will take you to the “earthtrust.org” website: click here. 

-  If you are contemplating becoming a vegetarian, I congratulate you!  I believe becoming a vegetarian is a very noble decision.  Many organizations for the protection of animals have interesting suggestions on how to become a vegetarian, cook books for sale, as well as nutritional guidelines and recipes for vegetarian dishes.  Within PETA’s website, for example, there are pages dedicated entirely to the subject of becoming a vegetarian.  The following link will take you to a page that will give you suggestions on how to best go through the “transition stage”, with many tips on cooking and preparation of dishes.  After you’re done  browsing the “go veg” pages, you may want to visit other sections of the PETA website, which is very interesting and informative about all things related to the protection of animals (click on the word PETA on the bottom-left of the page).  For your "go veg" link, click here     

"There will come a day when such men as myself will view the slaughter of  innocent creatures as horrible a crime as the murder of his fellow man - Our task must to be free ourselves - by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty." - Albert Einstein, Nobel prize winner, world’s most renowned physicist (1879-1955).

-  Whether or not you are a vegetarian or an animal right's "activist", you may want to  consider abstaining from buying superfluous objects that derive from animal sacrifice, such as fur coats, ivory objects or any other object made with animal body-parts.

Just two kittens, safe in their happy home

Kittens at lab, awaiting their turn to be tortured

(photo from the "Stop Huntigndon Animal Cruelty" website)

Can you understand how some people can harm innocents creatures like these?

...by sharing our home with animals

-  Adopt a pet, if you don’t have one! (or even if you already do...)  Give a home to a dog, cat, a parrot, a bunny rabbit, or any other domestic animal, if you can afford at all.  I can assure you that you will receive love and joy in return for your kindness.  Preferably, you should adopt an animal from a shelter, for those are the ones in desperate need of a home. Buying them from a pet store is not a good idea (especially a dog or a cat), because by doing this you would be supporting puppy mills and overcrowded/inhumane catteries, which are, more often than not, the source for pet shops supply of animals.

-  I need to say this again:  Do not contribute to the horrors of puppymills!!!  By buying a puppy or a dog from a pet store, you are contributing to the cruelty inflicted upon them at of puppy mills, where dogs and puppies are kept in most inhumane conditions!  The suffering that the dogs endure, especially the ones used for breeding, is beyond comprehension.  They spend all of their lives in small wire cages, without even a minimum amount of proper veterinarian care; they are treated with much cruelty, which often includes the gruesome procedure called "debarking" (the destruction of their vocal chords so that they can no longer bark ); due to their horrible life quality, they often develop all kinds of diseases, including malnutrition, and sometimes develop physical deformities.  These are just some of the examples of their suffering; tragically, there's much more to it.  To read the hard-to-believe-truth about what goes on in puppymills in the U.S., click here  From the “Doris Day Animal League” website, here are suggestions of things you can do, in addition to not buying puppies from pet shops, to help the cause against puppymills: click here

Let's join in the fight against puppymills!

(the "before and after" photos of "Hope", from the "Hearts United for Animals" website)

"Hope" is an example of the horrific neglect and abuse imposed on dogs at puppy mills. She is now a living miracle created by the love and dedication of those who fight against animal cruelty.  Won't you join in, and become a miracle maker?  To read more about "Hope", please go to the "Hearts United for Animals" organization website, where there are many rescued doggies for adoption. click here.  Don't buy puppies from a pet store!!!

-  There are countless wonderful organizations from which you can adopt a rescued pet.  I'd like to also give you a link to the "Puppy Mill Rescue" organization, another  fine example of a place where you will find wonderful doggies that have been rescued from horrific puppy mills and are awaiting the chance to go to their "forever home" with a loving human - click here (I chose this doggie # 11 at random; from this page you can access all others for adoption). When I read the success stories of the adoptions, my faith in the power of love is once again asserted (click here to read).  Keep in mind that if you cannot adopt, you can still help them in their fight by sending a contribution to an organization that rescues them and fights for the termination of puppymills.  Although, sadly, most Greyhound dogs that retire from racing are destroyed by the greedy "inhumans" that enslaved them, there are several organizations dedicated to rescuing them and placing them for adoption.  Here's a fine example:  click here.  From the same website, here's a heart-warming adoption story that shows us the rewards of our kindness to animals:  click here.  For more Greyhounds for adoption (from the “Greyhound Rescue" organization website), click here.

-  To find a rescued cat or kitten for adoption, here's a directory of many sources where you will be able to find the one that is "meant for you" (directory includes rescued pure bred cats), click here

-  If you live in a large property in a rural area, consider giving home to a rescued horse.  Horses, like all other animals, unfortunately, are victims of greedy and unscrupulous exploitation.  There are numerous organizations that rescue horses from abuse and neglect, including retired carriage horses.  Here's an extensive list of organizations that care for horses & horse related issues, posted by the "Kingdom Keepers" website:  click here  "Pets Alive", a wonderful no-kill shelter and animal sanctuary where you can find all sorts of animals for adoption, is currently the only shelter who rescues retired carriage horses in New York City. 

-  For those who like exotic animals, there are plenty of choices, too, in many shelters.  The "Wildlife Rescue Foundation" is a fine example:  click here, to view exotic animals for adoption

To read lovely poem about adopting  rescuing an animal, from the "Pets Alive" website, click here.

It is a tough battle, the one with the "inhumans", but we must continue to fight on behalf of the animals, because without us they have nothing.  Remember that if for any reason you cannot adopt, you can always make a contribution to organizations that rescue animals from human cruelty!

-  If you do adopt or buy a cat or a dog, or another domestic animal that can be spayed/neutered, please do so,  as soon as they become “of age”.  In this way you will not become a contributor to the tragic universal problem of over-population/homeless animals.  There are many sources of information on the Internet for locating affordable spaying and neutering.  If you live in the U.S., "Spay USA" is a fine example of an organization that will help you get the information you need: click here

-  Teach babies and children to be kind and gentle to animals.  Children sometimes, not realizing that they are being cruel, can play roughly or do upsetting things to animals.  Be sure to teach them to treat your pet with fairness, to love and respect them.  Here's a fun link for children to read and learn good things about animals (the PETA Kids website): click here. 

Do not get rid of your pet because of an objectionable behavior pattern, before making sure that it cannot be changed. There are many ways to modify and reverse objectionable behavior in pets!... Please give the animal another chance, won’t you?  Of course, you have the option to look for a professional trainer or animal handler.  But if you cannot afford one, there are many other alternatives that you can try on your own. You can buy a book, or conduct a search on the Internet about the subject; you will be surprised at how many useful tips are available for solving the problem!  Your pet’s behavior can be changed by training him with firmness and patience, making use of rewards for the right behavior.  Remember, there is never a need to punish your pet.  I can’t stress it enough, the importance of the realization that the opposite of reward is not punishment; it is no reward.  I'd like to give you an example of a website that offers information on the solutions for many pet problems - click here 

-  Whether or not you have pets of your own (and provided that you do not have cats that have access to the outdoors) and if you do have a backyard with trees, why don't you think of providing food, water and shelter for birds?  If you are a “handy” person you can build a birdhouse, yourself; this could be a fun activity for parents to do together with their kids.  There are numerous sources where you can find free instructions on how to do it.  I found the “eplans.com” website that provides you with several links to places where you can get instructions on how to build birdhouses.    Here’s the link:  click here.  Here's a link to the "Gourd Bird Houses" website, a fine example of a place that teaches you how to make inexpensive, decorative and artistic  little bird houses (or buy them ready):  click here.  The following link (to "ABirdWorld.com") is just an excellent example of a place where you can find a large assortment of bird houses, bird feeders/feed and water fountains for your garden or backyard:  click here.  On the same site, you can find suitable housing for small animals other than birds, as well.

Notice:  The links to the two commercial establishments mentioned on the above segment are being provided to you for informative/illustrational purposes only.  Neither Astrud Gilberto nor astrudgilberto.com endorses or has an interest on these establishments. 

(photo from the "Animal Voice" website

Bull fights -  Horrific and slow animal torture and sacrifice for public entertainment

ANIMALS IN ENTERTAINMENT

-  Cruelty to Animals for the sake of our "entertainment":  As you know, a large number of people all over the world that oppose cruelty to animals also oppose any and all kinds of animal exploitation for human entertainment.  But maybe you don’t share the view that all should be banned; maybe you believe that it’s okay for animals to be displayed at Zoos or for them to participate in some types of entertainment where you see a redeeming factor.  Maybe you draw the line at the specification: “as long as they are not being mistreated”.  Of course, that is opening a “pandora box” in terms of the complexity of the numerous possible circumstances and of the respective sorting out of what classifies as mistreatment of animals.  The truth, the way I see it, is that even in the best scenarios, more often than not animals that are used for our entertainment are deprived of their right for existing in their own natural environment, their freedom to roam and to behave in their instinctive ways; they are often also deprived of mingling with other animals of their specie, including their own natural families.  Regardless of where you draw the line, I’m sure that you will recognize different kinds of cruelty when you see it or hear about it, and I ask of you to engage in any act that may contribute to the cessation of animals being abused in any type of human entertainment.  Tragically, in addition to performing at “shows” for which animals are often subjected to torture-types of “training”, the unkind “humankind” also exploits them for gruesome and even sacrificial public exhibits of animal cruelty such as bullfights, dog-fights, cockfights and rodeos, not to mention the cowardly “sport” of hunting and fishing.  It is hard to believe that in this day and age of supposedly great “advancements” in our society, that in Spain and in Portugal thousands of people casually and routinely gather to watch the slow torture of bulls, as a “human being” methodically and slowly inflicts a large number of wounds into the animal's body with knives plunged  into their flesh, before they are finally killed, all the while being cheered by the large crowds.  Actually, I find it impossible to understand the motivation behind the fact that such large portion of the population in Spain seems to be obsessed with the perverse tormenting and torturing of bulls.  Like in all other issues of cruelty mentioned on this article, you can play a role in the betterment of treatment of animals, expressing your outrage and expectations of change to lawmakers and politicians. Luckily, in recent years, there has been some positive change, as dog and cock fights have been outlawed in many countries/states;  but, they are still allowed in many others.  If you live anywhere where they are permitted, contact lawmakers urging them to take action in banning them. 

(photo from the PETA website)

 Circuses and their cruelty to animals

-  Most of us who have watched animals perform at a circus, are naive and misinformed about their methods for succeeding in the submission of animals to their tyrannical demands.  PETA (People of the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has conducted under-cover investigations and has documented proof (video-tapes) of horrific abuse to circus animals, including torture inflicted on elephants at the Carson & Barnes circus.  To read about it, click here.  As also revealed by PETA's investigations, Ringling Bros., one of the most well known circuses, is also one of the greatest perpetrators of horrific acts of cruelty to animals, violating every principal of human integrity and all guidelines for the humane treatment of animals. To read more about this subject, click here.

Is there anything we can do?  Yes, there is! Will we ever succeed in changing things for the better, at circuses?  We don't know.  It may be a very tough battle to win, because for so many years masses of people have been deceived and misled to believe that the animals were in “good hands” with circus personnel…  There's so much "magic" in the whole circus' acts image, that probably some people don't want to hear about the ugliness behind the scenes...  But, we need to try! We can write letters, we can contribute to organizations that confront these issues (such as PETA or the Humane Society of the United States). What we cannot do is to remain silent and proceed as if everything is "okay", and take our children to see animals perform at a circus, knowing that in order to "entertain us", these animals endure a lifetime of enslavement and physical abuse.

"When a man has pity on all living creatures, then only is he noble."
The Buddha (6th cent BCE).

“Not to hurt our humble brethren (the animals) is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission – to be of service to them whenever they require it… If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.” - Francis of Assisi, Catholic Saint (1182-1226)

“It should not be believed that all beings exist for the sake of the existence of man.  On the contrary, all the other beings too have been intended for their own sakes and not for the sake of anything else . . . there is no difference between the pain of humans and the pain of other living beings, since the love and tenderness of the mother for the young are not produced by reasoning, but by feeling, and this faculty exists not only in humans but in most living beings.” - Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, philosopher/scholar in Judaism (1135 - 1204)

“To my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being.  I should be unwilling to take the life of a lamb for the sake of the human body.  I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man” - Mahatma Gandhi, Indian spiritual leader and  philosopher (1869 - 1948)

-  Write a letter to a congressman, a senator, or a governor, expressing your belief that they should do something to improve the laws on protection of animal rights (in general), or choose a topic that particularly touches you; perhaps something you read on the Internet, or heard on the news about any particular animal abuse occurrence, or of an animal species being mistreated.  Sadly, there’s no shortage of issues on animal cruelty:  from cockfights, bullfights and dogfights, to dog and horse races; from the overworking and mistreatment of carriage horses, mules, elephants, camels and other animals used for transporting humans to the killing of whales and dolphins; from  puppy-mills to the abuse inflicted upon animals by circuses; from cruel farming and animal testing to the fur industry; from the endangerment of certain species to the  destruction or pollution of their habitats!  ...  and then, there's the merciless killing of animals as a "sport" (hunting and fishing)!  Jesus!... It’s an almost endless list of the disgraceful ways humans mistreat animals!  Luckily, there are some of us who care, all over the world.  Not an easy task to confront, but we must continue our pursuit of justice for the animals, who cannot fight for themselves in confrontation of human greed, cowardice and cruelty.

(photo that speaks louder than words - from the "Huntingdon Sucks" website)

In closing, let me thank you for your kind attention.  May the Life Force bestow you with many blessings!

Love and Peace!   -  Astrud Gilberto

Once upon a time there was this civilization comprised of humans consumed by greed and capable of committing satanic acts of cruelty onto all other living species...

Photos taken at labs -  From left to right:  Greyhound dogs after having been experimented on and killed; a monkey being prepared for some kind of diabolic testing; a cat with an implant on his head and stitches on leg and back. 

Things like those depicted on these photos make me ashamed to be part of the human race.  These are things that go on in the most "civilized" society, imagine!...  However, as difficult as some things are to face, I am of the opinion that we are always better off knowing the truth.  Let us all do something to promote change, as in better treatment of all living beings!  If you think you can "stomach" seeing more and even more shocking photos of animals being experimented on in labs, click here to see photos posted by the "Huntingdon Sucks" website (same website where the above photos came from).

PRAYER FOR THE ANIMALS - by Dr. Albert Schweitzer

Hear our humble prayer, O God, for our friends the animals, especially for animals who are suffering; for any that are hunted or lost or deserted or frightened or hungry; for all that will be put to death.  We entreat for them all Thy mercy and pity, and for those who deal with them we ask a heart of compassion and gentle hands and kindly words.  Make us, ourselves, to be true friends to animals and so to share the blessings of the merciful.

Saint Francis of Assis - Known as Patron Saint of Animals

Disclaimer:  Astrud Gilberto does not have first hand knowledge of activities that do or did take place at the Huntingdon Life Science labs, nor at Ringling Brothers or the Carson & Barnes circuses.  The allusions made to these organizations on this article, as well as to The Bank of New York, are based on information available in the form of public domain. Therefore, the information contained herein (including on the links provided to other websites) is neither guaranteed nor warranted  by Astrud Gilberto nor by astrudgilberto.com  to be complete or accurate.

 

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