Mega-trawlers with mile-long nets are sweeping up virtually every living thing with a lot ending up as fishmeal fodder for chickens and pigs â€“ New York Times, 30 April 2017
Table of Contents Page 1 – Editorial – Times are changing Page 2 – Not the only victims of factory farming … Page 3 – New era for animal welfare Page 6 – Biology of big game hunters Page 8 – Battery cages are dead Page 10 – Trade in donkeys – A new threat to animal welfare Page 12 – Racing ostriches – is this amusement? Page 13 – Rats laugh - Tribute to Dr Jaak Panksepp Page 14 – Transforming animal agriculture globally Page 18 – Introducing South Africa’s youth to a kinder tomorrow
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My journey into the animal cause started in 1989 when I first encountered the shocking sight of a debeaked chicken. The way the world was – back then – is best explained by my email address: the 'avoice' in email@example.com isn't short for Animal Voice. It is short for 'a voice in the wilderness'. What a long way we've come. We are now a cacophony of voices shouting out loud for justice not only for the nonhuman beings who share the earth with us, but for the other victims of factory farming too. Back in the day there wasn’t a single newspaper article anywhere on the plight of farmed animals. Now the world’s leading newspapers are part of the driving force towards this new consciousness …
(London) 24 April 2017 ‘One day we will see that meat is murder; Laboratory-made steaks may be years from our plates but trends point to growing unease about the livestock industry.’
23 April 2017 ‘Stop and ponder - that pork on your fork had a personality‘, featuring Barbara King's latest book: "Personalities on the Plate: The Lives & Minds of Animals We Eat."
16 March 2016 ‘Chimpanzees are animals. But are they persons?’ 1
The African Penguin has survived an array of assaults since the arrival of the early Dutch Settlers. They became popular as food for the settlers, their eggs a delicacy, then came habitat destruction and oil spills.
Philip Lymbery’s Dead Zone is receiving global acclaim much like its predecessor Farmageddon
But this endangered icon of the South African tourist industry is facing a threat that may become the last straw: Agribusiness feeds fishmeal to the pigs, chickens and cattle confined in factory farms and feedlots, forcing penguins to travel further and further out to sea to bring back food for their chicks.
“The message is clear,” he says. “Through choosing to eat less and better meat, milk and eggs from animals kept in pasture-fed, free range or organic environments, we can begin to repair the damage that has been done. United in the crucial goal of saving endangered wildlife, supporting the best animal welfare, and bringing our landscapes and seascapes back to life, we can all work towards a more humane and sustainable food system.”
Now Dead Zone: Where the Wild Things Were, a new book authored by Philip Lymbery, CEO of Compassion in World Farming, throws the spotlight on one of the lesser-known consequences of factory farming - its devastating impact on wildlife. Currently on the European leg of his world tour to launch Dead Zone, Philip will arrive in South Africa on 9th July 2017 as guest of Jonathan Ball Publishers for a week-long promotional tour to share the shocking findings of his global investigation.
Dead Zone is already available in leading bookshops nationwide. To be part of Philip Lymbery’s up-coming book tour of South Africa, please visit www.jonathanball.co.za Overfishing is depleting oceans across the globe, with 90 percent of the world’s fisheries fully exploited or facing collapse
Philip explains: “Over recent decades, intensive farming has seen farm animals disappear from the land into windowless sheds, where they are caged, crammed or confined. Instead of grazing or foraging, their food now has to be grown elsewhere, often in vast chemical-soaked prairies, where nature is sprayed away.
Mega-trawlers with mile-long nets are sweeping up virtually every living thing with a lot ending up as fishmeal fodder for chickens and pigs - New York Times, 30 April 2017 – while, closer to home, one in four South Africans goes to bed hungry https://www.oxfam.org/en/research/hiddenhunger-south-africa and our wildlife faces extinction.
“Therein lies the link between factory farming, which causes so much suffering to chickens, pigs and cattle, and the hidden victims: our wildlife. 2
Johannesburg law firm hosts seminar that ushers in a new era for animal welfare
Leading law firm Hogan and Lovells helped launch a new era for animal welfare on 29th March this year when it hosted a seminar attended by some 50 lawyers – all of them determined to reform protection laws for South Africa’s animals. The seminar, titled Animals and the Law: Towards a More Humane Future, follows a Constitutional Court judgment on 8th December 2016 in which a full bench of judges were unanimous that the NSPCA has the right to institute private prosecutions if necessary. In addition the judgement noted that: - animals are sentient beings with intrinsic value as individuals - animal protection safeguards the moral status of humans
As main speaker, David Bilchitz, professor of Law at the University of Johannesburg and Director of the South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional, Public, Human Rights and International Law, said: “December 2016 saw a massive stride forward for animals in South African law. “The Constitutional Court judgment has opened the door for us to re-evaluate the law and give animals their entitlement to decent treatment.” The Concourt judgment, he said, had signalled that “we are required to enshrine modern thinking into any new act, and develop a strategy to ensure that statutory reform goes forward for the animals.” Story continues next page …
Concourt Judge Sisi Khampepe. The Concourt has set a new era for animals in motion.
Professor Bilchitz said he was often reminded of the quote by civil rights activist and novelist Alice Walker:
The aim of the APA, he said, was to protect the sensibilities of fellow humans, and to place some duties on humans towards non-human animals. However it was underpinned “by an absence of belief that animals have value in their own right”.
The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men.
The Constitutional Court had now opened the way to change the law to accommodate modern understanding of animal sentience and cognition.
He also pointed to former-president Thabo Mbeki’s speech made in 1996 on the adoption of SA’s new Constitution. “In his speech Mbeki suggests a sharing of the land with other creatures. He conjures up an ethos – not of domination, but of mutual respect and co-habitation.
Professor Bilchitz said that foremost on his agenda for legal reform was the gassing of pigs with C02. “This horrifies me. This is an urgent matter that needs to be stopped. We know we will be coming up against major interests in fighting some of these cases,” he said.
“In contrast, the position of animals in South African common law is one of ‘things’ with no claim on us as humans in any way,” he said.
To find out more about opportunities to study animal law, contact attorney Amy Wilson firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Bilchitz pointed to the “huge shift in consciousness” since 1962 when the Animals Protection Act (APA) was promulgated to replace the previous 1914 Cruelty to Animals Act. 4
Other speakers at the seminar: American attorney and guest speaker at the seminar, Pamela Frasch announced that scholarships for a Master’s Degree in Animal Law were now available to South African student applicants. As Executive Director of the Center for Animal Law Studies at the Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon, she said current laws were antiquated. “In 1997, only 9 US law schools offered a course in animal law. Today, 150 law school across the USA are giving animal law courses. Currently, there are no animal law courses at universities in South Africa. Yet, animals are integral to every aspect of human society and science has shown us the capacity and complexity of animals. We understand now that they can suffer like humans can. “Today, our pets sleep in our beds and we even have dog hotels. We know environmental issues and climate change are linked to factory farming and there is even an emerging area of aquatic animal law. We also know that the link between animal abuse and human violence is there.”
Natasha Dolezal, Director of International Animal Law at the Lewis & Clark Law School, said the first Animal Law Conference in Africa would take place in Kenya in May 2017. “Animals need more lawyers. I cannot say that Clive Phillips enough,” she said. For more information please make contact with Natasha: email@example.com
Candice Pillay, attorney specialising in animal law at Hogan & Lovells, told the seminar: “There is a lot of opening up of legal thinking regarding how we view animals – not as things but as individuals in their own right. “When a child is parentless we look to guardianship. When it comes to animals, we are not owners, we are custodians, and new laws can perhaps extend our concept of guardianship to animals too,” she said.
Essential reading: Moving beyond Arbitrariness: The legal Personhood and Dignity of Non-Human animals by David Bilchitz http://repository.up.ac.za/handle/2263/12171 The Future of Animal Law: Moving Beyond Preaching to the Choir by MA Senatori and Pamela Frasch http://www.swlaw.edu/pdfs/jle/jle602senatori.pdf 5
Why are men drawn to big game hunting? The 10 April 2017 issue of the Los Angeles Times reveals the answer is to be found in their biology The article tells us that according to findings published in the scientific journal Biology Letters, "pricey big-game hunts are meant to show off men's high social status to competitors and potential mates."
It continues: "With big guns and professional guides often helping them find targets from a safe distance, biggame recreational hunters aren't spending a lot of physical effort hunting their quarry, compared with our ancestors, and they aren't risking life and limb in the same way either. “But they are spending lots of money to kill the animals, they're choosing species typically not eaten, and they engage in display behaviour -- having photos taken next to their fallen prey.” This, according to the article, is ‘signalling behaviour’ - amplified nowadays by social media – that says: “Look at me! I can spend this much on an expensive activity I don't really need to do to survive. I would make a good mate, ladies -and you other males stay away from my turf, if you know what's good for you.” The article suggests that just as social media has amplified the capacity for ‘signalling behaviour’, it has also opened up the potential for social shaming by critics, as Cecil the lion’s hunter, Walter Palmer, discovered. (left) 5
Animal Voice asked South African radio and television celebrity psychologist Charissa Bloomberg for her take on the ‘signalling behaviour’ of big game hunters. “I agree with the Los Angeles Times article that the message the hunters want to get across is ‘I am wealthy and powerful, look what I can do!’,” she said. “However, the opposite applies. The big game hunter has a fragile ego that needs recognition.”
Charissa added: “Hunting is also about a need to display dominance, even if only over an animal with no hope of escape. “For female hunters, it is again about dominance, proving ‘I can do this just as well as any man’.”
THEY ARE SO TAME, THEY EVEN WALK TOWARDS THEIR HUNTER.
One knows the era of the battery cage is dead when the South African Poultry Association’s own mouthpiece calls on its readers and members to heed the call to go Cage-Free!
of their consciences rather than their pocket. I also hope that your readers will accept that there is more than one way to assess welfare. Current science cannot show that birds kept in conventional cages suffer any measurable stress factors.”
The March 2017 issue of Poultry Bulletin published by the SA Poultry Association (SAPA), carries a three-page spread titled: ‘The cage free REVOLUTION’ and warns egg farmers that “the cage-free revolution is moving rapidly through the world and the South African egg industry should make sure that they are prepared to accommodate the change”.
However, now Poultry Bulletin advises the farmers of the 24-million laying hens still trapped in cages in SA that “scientific research has demonstrated that conventional cage systems deny birds the opportunity to exhibit a number of key behaviours which are fundamental to their welfare, resulting in increased levels of frustration, pain and stress.
Ironically, in 2014 SAPA’s CEO Kevin Lovell sent an email to Animal Voice in response to one of our many appeals and petitions for a phase-out of battery eggs.
“These important behaviours include the opportunity to build a nest, preen, stretch and flap their wings, perch and dust-bathe. It is clear,” Poultry Bulletin states, “that no amount of improved management can compensate for the welfare issues inherent in the system.
In the email, he stated: “When more consumers can afford to spend more on their food, then more consumers will exercise their discretion to buy in terms
“Scientifically, (egg) producers are on shaky ground if we try to defend our production system as humane.” The Poultry Bulletin article concludes: “Hen welfare is rapidly becoming a ‘horizon issue’ for South African producers – an issue which could have profound consequences for producers if we do not recognise it, evaluate it and respond to it, effectively, in time. The speed with which major US and UK corporations have announced their commitment to cage-free production has demonstrated how quickly a shift can be imposed on an industry that has not paid enough attention to the external landscape.”
Note from Ed: We are obviously not so naïve as to be deluded into thinking the poultry industry has suddenly grown a conscience about its deplorable treatment of chickens. The reason for its sudden willingness to go cage-free is – obviously – driven by the prospect of money. The article puts it like this: “The egg industry boasts one of the world’s most complete and easily marketable products…
“As an industry we should have no problem selling unlimited quantities of this incredible offering and yet per capita, egg consumption in South Africa is perhaps half of what it might be. “So,” it asks rhetorically, “what might stand in the way of egg sales rocketing in South Africa and around the world? Simple – welfare issues. “There is a tendency amongst (egg) producers to argue that costeffectiveness and disease control make caged systems the only viable production system in a hungry world, but this argument ignores half a century of thorough research into laying hen welfare and thus plays into the hands of the animal right activists.” It continues: “The egg industry’s wholesome image, and our opportunities for advertising and promotion, is adversely affected by four ticking time-bombs – cage production, the disposal of male chickens, beak trimming and the treatment of spent hens.”
Male chicks have no value in the egg industry because they will never lay an egg
Male Chicks have no value within the egg industry Because they will never lay an egg
Many South Africans were shocked to learn in February this year that the South African government had entered into a lucrative trade deal with China for the supply of ejiao - a gelatine substance extracted from donkey skins. According to a media release by the North West Provincial Government, the construction of a feedlot and abattoir specifically for donkey slaughter is underway and the supply of skins to China is expected to begin by the end of 2017. The media release added that the global demand for donkey skins could top 10 million skins annually. Here, Jeff Zhou, Compassion in World Farming's Ambassador in Beijing, gives us a perspective from China:
â€œEjiao is not only used to delay menopause but also for anaemia, and many women use it during their period. It is also used as a beauty product. 10
“I did a survey on social media among my friends and asked them if they thought ejiao was effective. These are young, educated, middle-class people. Fully half of them believed in the efficacy of ejiao. “Nowadays, donkeys are in short supply in China which is why our government is sourcing them internationally. There is a potential for serious welfare issues developing because it is likely that China won't only be importing donkey skins, but the donkeys themselves - live. So there is going to be the issue of long-distance transport to slaughter too.
“If we are to try and dismantle this industry, we will have to expose the cruelty and campaign against it. We will have to get the media to play a major role in creating public awareness and it needs to be backed up by strong scientific proof that ejaio is not effective. “But even hospitals use it. One of my friends who is a professor at an agricultural university explained to me that the ingredients used in traditional Chinese medicine do not work in isolation but in combination. You have to remember that Chinese medicine is deeply embed in our minds.. “Quite a lot of publicity has been given to the fact that harvesting the swallows' nests to obtain the saliva of the birds that build them, involves a lot of cruelty. But it remains a huge industry because people believe the saliva is nutritious.
“Tiger bones, bear bile, shark fin and swallow nests are all still used in traditional medicine in China. Ejiao too gets a lot of publicity as an effective traditional medicine. “However, more people are becoming aware of animal cruelty. Bear bile is believed to be good for eye sight but now a lot of people are turning against it. Also, synthetic medicines that do the same thing as these traditional medicines are coming onto the market, so people are beginning to see that there is no need to sacrifice the animals.” Read more about how a local donkey owning community in Ethiopia spoke up for donkeys, and how their actions resulted in a government ban of the trade. Ethiopia now joins Mali, Senegal, Niger, Burkina Faso, The Gambia and Zimbabwe in standing up against the trade in donkeys.
According to an article in the local newspaper, authored by Karen Davis, CEO of United Poultry Concerns, ostrich races should be retired.
Protesters picketing at the Chandler Festival in Arizona, USA, in March this year, believe ostrich races, like circus acts involving animals, are relics of the past.
“In their natural habitat”, she said, “ostriches are dignified birds devoted to their families. In contrast, the ostrich races strip them of their dignity, make them look silly, and put them in danger of injury.”
Carrying placards appealing for an end of ostrich races, protesters said it was unnatural and harmful for ostriches to be forced to run with jockeys riding on their backs. One of the placards said: “All Animals feel fear and pain! They are not on this earth for human amusement #boycottostrichfest”. Another said: “The only thing we need from animals is forgiveness. #Notyourentertainment”.
Ostrich races are still used as entertainment in South Africa. How do you feel about this?
Dr Jaak Panksepp, the American neuroscientist whose research was instrumental in helping to reveal that animals experience emotions, died at his home in Ohio, on 18 April 2017, aged 73. He made headlines around the world in 2012 when he identified the high-frequency, ultrasonic ‘chirps’ emitted by rats when he tickled them, as laughter. “Tickles are the key,” Dr Panksepp said at the time. “Tickling opens up a previously hidden world. Neural circuits for laughter exist in very ancient regions of the brain and ancestral forms of play and laughter existed in other animals eons before we humans came along.” The world of science was not ready to hear that animals experience emotions when Panksepp’s book Affective Neuroscience: The Foundations of Human and Animal Emotions was published by Oxford University Press in 1998. At the time, it was generally accepted by Science that animals are capable of learned behaviour by means of operant conditioning - a type of learning where behaviour is controlled by consequences – either positive reinforcement through reward, or negative reinforcement through punishment. However, Panksepp was convinced that learned behaviour by means of operant conditioning was merely a component of the overall make-up of humans as well as animals and that the brain,
across many species, is hard-wired for the experiencing of emotions such as joy, sadness, anger and fear. He said research on the brain indicated that biochemistry was part of how humans and animals think and therefore, affective neuroscience - the study of the neural mechanisms of emotion together with psychologicial studies of personality, emotion and mood, had to be included as part of an interdisciplinary understanding of behaviour. Said Dutch primatologist and ethologist Frans de Waal: “He was a very special man and had to fight so hard to get science to accept his affective neuroscience. For animal lovers, it is important to know that more than anyone else Jaak made animal emotions an acceptable topic to discuss and study.” 13
• where no cow is prodded down the passage that leads to a captive bolt stun gun • where no pig is suffocated with CO2 before entering the scalding tank • where no chicken dangles by the feet so his/her head can pass through an electrified water bath Imagine a world where we can’t imagine that anyone was ever required to hoist an animal up by the hind legs, eviscerate the body and sweep out the blood from the floor. A world like this may be closer than we think with veteran animal activist and entrepreneur Bruce Friedrich at the helm of the Good Food Institute (GFI) which is currently receiving a whole lot of attention from news outlets like the Washington Post, Quartz, and Politico. Launched a year ago in Washington DC with only two staff members, the Good Food Institute is growing exponentially to accommodate more than 30 staff positions by year's end, and recently, a branch has opened in Brazil with a branch in China in the pipeline.
Here Good Food Institute’s executive director Bruce Friedrich kindly agreed to an interview. 14
To find out more about meat produced through cellular agriculture and why it is called "clean meat", please go to Bruce’s blog here: http://www.gfi.org/cle an-meat-the-cleanenergy-of-food
Animal Voice: The Good Food Institute is working at the level of Congress to reform the food industry, as well as giving support to emerging entrepreneurs in the field of meat-alternatives. For how long have you nurtured your vision of an alternative food system based on plant-based food as well as clean meat (aka lab-grown meat)?
Animal Voice: According to Quartz on-line magazine, the Good Food Institute is now going global. I understand that Brazil’s leading business magazine, Exame, published a story in March 2017 suggesting that the food of the future may be “ 0% animal.” Bruce Friedrich: Absolutely—our mission is global, and when GFI’s managing director for Brazil, Gustavo Guadagnini, approached us about expanding our work in the country, we recognized an incredible opportunity.
Bruce Friedrich: The Good Food Institute was launched after years of brainstorming the most effective ways to bring an end to factory farming. As a result of this strategic thinking, GFI is focused on the neglected half of the animal protection equation—the marketplace. Education is critical, but it will have a much greater effect if clean meat and plant-based options are convenient, delicious, and costcompetitive with animal products.
The demand for plant-based meat alternatives is spiking dramatically in Brazil, but there are nearly zero options on the marketplace to meet this latent demand. The products that are available are expensive, mostly canned, and definitely unappetizing. The plant-based meat options in Brazil right now look a lot like the 1980’s dark ages of plant-based meat in the U.S.
Overwhelming sociological research supports the idea that simply educating people is not enough. The main reason consumers don’t eat more plant-based meat and dairy are: 1) convenience; 2) taste; and 3) price. So GFI is focused on transforming animal agriculture by promoting the commercial success of clean meat and plant-based alternatives—that is, by making healthier and more sustainable options more convenient, delicious, and price-competitive.
Bruce Friedrich: While we aren’t working together, we’re certainly working toward the same goals! Bill Gates and other visionaries such as Alphabet executive chairman Eric Schmidt and Google cofounder Sergey Brin have all raised their voices in support for the products that will replace the products of factory farming. Schmidt actually named plantbasedmeat as one of the six “gamechanging” technologies he believes will significantly improve human life in the near future.
Additionally, the recent corruption and sanitation scandal rocking the Brazil-based meatpacking company JBS gives us an opportunity to strike while the iron is hot. Not only are Brazilian consumers interested in plant-based alternatives, they’ve also been burned by the meat industry. In fact, Exame not only said the future would be “0% animal,” but also “100% meat,” nodding to the coming growth of the plant-based meat industry. Animal Voice: We don’t want you to leave South Africa out of your business plan!
Bill, if you’re reading this, we would love to work with you!
Bruce Friedrich: Indeed not! We are hoping to light the spark that lights a flame that starts a fire.
[Note: Bill Gates actually did respond to a question we posed to him about plant-based meats in the New York Times here: https://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2 016/02/25/bill-gates-explains-how-tomake-climate-progress-in-a-worldeating-meat-and-guzzling-gas/]
South Africa’s animal agriculture industry is as ripe for transformation as any other, and we plan to launch and support companies worldwide that make it easy to eat healthy, humane, and sustainable foods wherever you might live. Animal Voice: Apparently Bill Gates is big into alternative meat. Are you and Bill Gates working together, or can’t you say?
to feed 9.7 billion people by 2050 without irreversibly damaging the planet, we’re not going to do it with factory farming.
That being said, it’s not just forwardfacing venture capitalists and philanthropists who believe in this future. Several major players in the food industry have realized we are in the early days of a major shift, and have bought their way into the market in order to capitalize on that. Even Tyson Foods, one of the largest animal-meat producers in the world, recentlyinvested in plant-based protein company Beyond Meat.
By harnessing market forces and food technology, we can be proactive and pragmatic about making a sustainable, eco-friendly future a reality for our food system. While it’s unlikely that complete healing will occur, we can absolutely change the trajectory of food production forever by ending our reliance on animal products through the introduction and improvement of new alternatives.
Animal Voice: Are we naïve in thinking that without all the billions of hectares of land being devoted to growing crops to feed animals so that we can eat their meat, eggs and milk, we could begin to imagine the regrowth of forests, the return of habitats, a healing in our gross exploitation of natural resources, a restoring of our water resources, a kinder economy?
Animal Voice: In South Africa, some 1.63 billion farmed animals are slaughtered annually. Is this the beginning of the end of cows, sheep and chickens then? Bruce Friedrich: We certainly hope it is the end of the intensive farming and horrible slaughter of cows, sheep, and chickens!
Bruce Friedrich: This is not naïve. This is necessary. Our current food production system is at its breaking point, and if we’re going
Dr Mark Post created the first frankenburger, launched with much fanfare on 5th August 2013. At the time, scientists predicted that cultured meat may be commercially viable within a decade. Photo: David Parry 12
Justice Sisi Khampepe and her fellow judges at the Constitutional Court have brought new meaning into the South African schools’ curriculum. The national curriculum for South Africa’s learners is underpinned by the Constitution. ‘Constitutional Rights and Responsibilities’ forms the subject-matter under which numerous ‘Topics’ for learning are listed across the Grades, from R – 12. Now, the Constitutional Court’s recent reminder about our relationship with animals brings a new depth of understanding and responsibility into our schools. The Concourt noted:
• Animals have intrinsic value as individuals • Animals are sentient beings capable of suffering and experiencing pain • Guardianship of the interests of animals reflects constitutional values and the interests of society at large • Animal protection safeguards the moral status of humans and the degeneration of human values The curriculum has abundant opportunities to engender an ethos of respect and compassion into the everyday learning activities of the classroom.
This is why Humane Education’s new Teacher manuals are so important! Not only do they identify every opportunity to give context and understanding to Judge Khampepe’s words but also put this into action with countless notes for teachers and curriculum-aligned activities for learners. You can access these manuals here: animalvoiceacademy.org They are available to preview before downloading as e-books or contact Louise for your own hard copy firstname.lastname@example.org 18
Better than ever! The Senior Phase Teacherâ€™s Guide is now available - animalvoiceacademy.org
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Editor: Louise van der Merwe Managing Trustee: Humane Education Design & Multi Media, Admin, social media: Kelly Schlesinger
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Today, animal cognition is a science that has broken all pre-conceptions and leads us to the fact that â€Ś
the inner world of animals is a continuum of our own inner worlds.
Animal Voice Magazine May 2017 Edition