Author: alafair Page 1 of 6
A ‘Sociopath’ is a person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience. Sociopaths show a pervasive pattern of disregard for the rights and feelings of others. They live for the moment, forgetting the past, and not planning the future, not thinking ahead about the consequences their actions will have. They want immediate rewards and gratification.
All fireworks users display these traits; the use of fireworks is a sociopathic behavior because fireworks have an obvious and pervasive destructive effect on everyone, including the person lighting the fireworks.
This New Year, the carnage from fireworks was worse than ever. All around the country, fires resulting in major environmental destruction, human injuries, thousands of lost and terrified, injured animals, many of whom lost their lives, and the disturbance of the peace of everyone who has a right to privacy that fireworks invade.
Let’s examine the Pros and Cons of fireworks
“Fireworks are fun.” Well, yes, but fun at the expense of others is something only a sociopath or sadist finds enjoyable.
“Fireworks are a legitimate religious practice.” This is absurd. See below.
Environmentally destructive; pollutes the air and results in debris and disturbs birds and other wild animals.
Firework noise is pervasive and violent. This is disconcerting for many people including the elderly, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder sufferers, small children, and for that matter anyone who prefers peace and quiet in their own home.
Fireworks terrify animals; this is not something that can be avoided by locking animals in as some suggest, since they can still hear the explosions, and there are many animals that cannot be given sedatives, like shelter animals, strays and wild animals in any given area. Sedatives also often do not work sufficiently to shield the animal from the stress caused by fireworks. Animal owners are told to take precautions, but why should they have to spend money and sacrifice their own enjoyment during these festivals because some self-absorbed people have no respect for others? To make matters worse, these sociopaths do not stick to the allotted times, with the result that animal owners cannot predict when their pets will be subjected to terrifying noise.
In addition, 70% of fireworks are manufactured by children and the working conditions in fireworks factories are life-threatening and exploitative. That’s what you contribute to every time you light a mindless firecracker. Lastly, since there are no fireworks manufacturers in South Africa, most of the money spent on fireworks does nothing for the local economy.
Then there are the Psychopaths who have started using fireworks as weapons in robberies, taping nails and ball bearings around large fireworks, so that when the firework explodes it sends the nails and ball bearings flying. If that’s not a good reason to ban fireworks in private hands and restrict them to pyrotechnicians, I’m not sure what is.
The notion that fireworks are a legitimate religious practice is bizarre. Religion is supposed to raise human consciousness, to make humans more aware of their responsibilities, to see beyond self-indulgence and understand the negative impacts of a given practice. If that practice results in pain and hardship to others, religion should oppose, not support, the practice. A religion that supports the many evils of fireworks is self-contradictory and bankrupt. Only a fanatic believes this nonsense. It’s little more than abuse using religion as a justification.
It’s a no-brainer to anyone except a sociopath that fireworks are not an acceptable expression of culture, religion or tradition.
On the one hand, we have noise laws that prohibit noise in residential areas, and fireworks by-laws that allow them during certain periods for either traditional or religious festivals. This ambiguity in legislative policy is schizophrenic.
The same goes for the Emergency Management Services giving permission for displays to be held at schools, which is prohibited by fireworks by-laws. What is the point in having laws if the Council is just going to give people permission to break them?
In addition, since the Animals Protection Act states that it is an offense to terrify an animal, and we know that fireworks terrify animals and that there are animals in every residential area, fireworks should be prohibited in any residential area. Yet we have by-laws that allow firework use in residential areas. To any sane person, this is inconsistent.
Government needs its head read.
The policing of fireworks can barely be referred to as adequate, although in a few areas the response was very good. Many police barely understand the law as it pertains to fireworks, and the response from Emergency Service call centers is in most cases non-existent. Besides, many of the police are themselves lighting fireworks in residential areas…
Government must not pander to the indulgences of the inconsiderate; it must raise the consciousness of that society to respect the needs of others and cause the least harm. The use of fireworks is hopelessly incompatible with any ethic one can think of – they have no benefit whatsoever. They need to be prohibited in private hands as soon as possible.
By Tammana Begum
Ecosystems, the fabric of life on which we all depend, are declining rapidly because of human actions. But there is still time to save them.
Human pressure on nature has soared since the 1970s. We have been using more and more natural resources, and this has come at a cost.
If we lose large portions of the natural world, human quality of life will be severely reduced and the lives of future generations will be threatened unless effective action is taken.
Over the last 50 years, nature’s capacity to support us has plummeted. Air and water quality are reducing, soils are depleting, crops are short of pollinators, and coasts are less protected from storms.
Prof Andy Purvis, a Museum research leader, has spent three years studying human interactions with nature. Alongside experts from more than 50 different countries, he has produced the most comprehensive review ever of the worldwide state of nature, with a summary published in the journal Science.
It was coordinated by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), an independent body that provides policymakers with objective scientific assessments about the state of knowledge regarding the planet’s biodiversity.
The latest report paints a shocking picture. We are changing nature on a global scale and the impacts of our actions are being distributed unequally.
‘It was terrifying to see how close we are to playing Russian roulette with the only world we have,’ says Andy. ‘But it’s also been inspiring, because there is a way out of this.
‘What has given hope to the many scientists who worked on this report has been the way the public are fully aware of the dangers and want action. We just need to make sure the politicians remember that too.’
Nature feeling the squeeze
Since the 1970s, Earth’s population has doubled, and consumption has increased by 45% per capita.
The world is increasingly managed in a way that maximises the flow of material from nature, to meet rising human demands for resources like food, energy and timber.
As a result, humans have directly altered at least 70% of Earth’s land, mainly for growing plants and keeping animals. These activities necessitate deforestation, the degradation of land, loss of biodiversity and pollution, and they have the biggest impacts on land and freshwater ecosystems.
About 77% of rivers longer than 1,000 kilometres no longer flow freely from source to sea, despite supporting millions of people.
The main cause of ocean change is overfishing, but 66% of the ocean’s surface has also been affected by other processes like runoff from agriculture and plastic pollution.
Live coral cover on reefs has nearly halved in the past 150 years and is predicted to disappear completely within the next 80 years. Coral reefs are home to some of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet.
The number of alien species – species found outside their natural range – has risen, as humans move organisms around the world, which disrupts and often diminishes the richness of local biodiversity. This, combined with human-driven changes in habitat, also threatens many endemic species.
In addition, fewer varieties of plants and animals are being preserved due to standardisations in farming practices, market preferences, large-scale trade and loss of local and indigenous knowledge.
Nature also benefits humans in non-material ways. We learn from it and are inspired by it. It gives us physical and psychological experiences and supports our identity and sense of place. But its capacity to provide these services has also diminished.
What’s causing it?
The loss of ecosystems is caused mainly by changes in land and sea use, exploitation, climate change, pollution and the introduction of invasive species.
Some things have a direct impact on nature, like the dumping of waste into the ocean.
Other causes are indirect. Those include demographic, economic, political and institutional arrangements underpinned by social values, and they interact with one another.
For example, vast areas of land managed by Indigenous Peoples are experiencing a decline in ecosystems at a slower rate than everywhere else. But the rights of Indigenous Peoples are being threatened, which could result in faster deterioration of these areas. This would have a detrimental impact on wider ecosystems and societies.
Trading overseas has increased by 900% since the start of the post-industrial era and the extraction of living materials from nature has risen by 200%.
The growing physical distance between supply and demand means people don’t see the destruction caused by their consumption.
‘Before the Industrial Revolution, people had to look after the environment around them because that’s where they got their products from,’ says Andy. ‘If they didn’t look after it, they would face the consequences.
‘Now with globalisation, we have massive environmental impacts a long way from where we live. But we are insulated from these impacts, so they are abstract to us.’
Overseas trading also creates and increases inequality. The pressure for material goods comes mostly from middle and high-income countries and is often met by low to middle-income countries.
For example, Japan, US and Europe alone consumed 64% of the world’s imports of fish products. High income countries have their own fisheries but most of these have collapsed. Fishing now takes place in previously unexploited or underexploited fisheries, most of which belong to low-income countries.
‘With the massive increase in trade, there is no longer that imperative to make sustainable choices,’ says Andy. ‘We can overexploit natural resources somewhere else in the world and the magnitudes of our choices are invisible to us.’
What does the future hold?
The report analysed in detail how the world will look under three very different scenarios.
- Global sustainability: the whole world shifts towards sustainability by respecting environmental boundaries and making sure economic development includes everyone. Wealth is distributed evenly, resources and energy are used less, and emphasis is on economic growth and human wellbeing.
- Regional competition: there is a rise in nationalism with the focus mostly on domestic issues. There is less investment in education, particularly in the developing world. High-income countries will continue exporting the damage, resulting in some strong and lasting environmental destruction for future generations to deal with.
- Economic optimism: the world puts faith in new and innovative technologies that are still to be invented, which help us cope with environmental problems. Emissions will continue, but with the idea that technology will mitigate them. There will be stronger investment in health and education, and global markets are reasonably integrated with shared goals.
Combating the loss of ecosystems is going to be complex and will require a nexus approach. This means thinking about how different components of the problem such as nature, politics and socioeconomics all interact with one another.
An example of a nexus approach would be to reduce biodiversity loss by changing how we farm, while at the same time making sure people have enough food, their livelihoods are not undermined, and social conflicts are not aggravated.
The way to avoid some of these issues may be to focus on regenerating and restoring high-carbon ecosystems such as forests and wetlands. Similarly the need for food could be met by changing dietary choices and reducing waste.
Switching to clean energy is an important step which would allow other changes to happen more easily. Obtaining coal and gas involves destroying vast amounts of land and seascapes as well as polluting the environment beyond extraction.
But in order to achieve this fully, the world needs to revaluate current political structures and societal norms, which tend not to value nature. One way of doing that is by improving existing environmental policies and regulations, as well as removing and reforming harmful policies.
‘I hope people can see that this is not a drill,’ says Andy. ‘This really is an emergency and I hope they act on it.’
The Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) have decided that the IPBES Global Assessment Report will form the scientific and technical evidence base for the intergovernmental negotiations in 2020, to agree on a global biodiversity framework for the next decade and to replace the Aichi Biodiversity Targets that expire next year.
IPBES Chair Anna Maria Hernandez concludes, ‘This new article makes it even more clear that we need profound, system-wide change and that this requires urgent action from policymakers, business, communities and every individual.
‘Working in tandem with other knowledge systems, such as Indigenous and local knowledge, science has spoken, and nobody can say that they did not know. There is literally no time to waste.’
By Emma - January 9, 2022 https://pawsomeadvice.com/pets/animal-shelter-statistics/
Animal shelter statistics are a bit tough to read. But if we all understand what’s going on, our hearts might reach out to help those in need.
If you’re someone who wants to contribute more to their community, volunteering at a local shelter is a great way to start.
You can also adopt an animal. While it’s a big responsibility, it can also bring much-needed love and light into your home. But first, you should get a better idea of what happens in animal shelters.
Little Known Animal Shelter Statistics in 2022
- Around 3.2 million shelter animals are adopted each year.
- Annually, 6.5 million animals enter US shelters.
- About three million shelter animals are euthanized in the US every year.
- Five states are responsible for 50% of shelter euthanasia.
- The US boasts more than 2,000 no-kill shelters.
- In 2019, Delaware became the first no-kill shelter state.
- There are around 70 million stray animals in the US.
- Only one out of every ten dogs will find a permanent home.
- 88% of pets living in underserved communities aren’t spayed or neutered.
- In 2015, 36% of abandoned animals were taken to a shelter.
Animal Shelter Stats
1. Each Year, 6.5 Animals Enter US Shelters
- Among them are 3.3 million pups and 3.2 million cats.
- In 2011, the number of dogs brought to shelters was 3.9 million.
- Between 2011–2015, there was a 700,000 decrease in pets taken to shelters.
So, the numbers are declining, and that’s not the only good news.
2. Around 3.2 Million Shelter Animals Get Adopted Each Year
- Animal shelter adoption statistics show cats and pups each take up 1.6 million adoptions.
- Surprisingly, around 710,000 animals that enter shelters are returned to their owners. That’s why pet owners must take the proper measures and avoid losing their furry friends. Some options are microchipping or a wireless dog fence.
- According to the shelter population estimates, as many as 48% of dogs and 50% of cats are adopted.
But what happens to the rest?
Animal Shelter Euthanasia Statistics
Unfortunately, as hopeful as pet adoption stats are, shelters have to euthanize many animals due to lack of space, food, and funding.
3. Every Year, About Three Million Shelter Animals Are Euthanized In the US
(Source: Humane Society)
- As many as 70% of cats in shelters are euthanized.
- Animal shelter cat stats show 80% of them are healthy and treatable.
- Less than 10% of shelter animals suffer from issues that are impossible to cure.
If you think that’s a lot, in 1984, the number of animals killed in shelters was 17 million.
4. Five States Are Responsible For 50% Of Shelter Euthanasia
(Source: Best friends)
- Those states are Texas, California, Florida, North Carolina, and Georgia. Each has its own set of euthanasia statistics, but 75% of animals killed in California are cats. In Texas, it’s equally spread between dogs and cats.
- Still, 85% of Americans feel they prefer to have stray community cats than to let shelters catch and euthanize the animals.
- Between 10%–12% of the general population provides food for stray cats.
All hope is not lost. In some areas, people save hundreds of thousands of animals.
No Kill Animal Shelter Facts
These shelters must have a 90% save rate for consideration.
5. There Are Over 2,000 No-Kill Shelters in the US
(Source: Pet Plus Mag)
- So, 44% of all US shelters are no-kill. In 2018, they were 29%.
- Unfortunately, no-kill communities make up only 35% nationally.
- Best Friends is on a mission to make euthanasia in shelters a thing of the past by 2025.
Animal shelter statistics by state show that there’s even an entirely no-kill state.
6. In 2019, Delaware Became the First US No-Kill Shelter State
(Source: NY Daily News)
- In 2019, the state received 12,800 animals and saved 11,900.
- Delaware approves of the trap/neuter/spay program that saves thousands of cats from euthanasia.
- The Brandywine Valley SPCA takes in 60% of the state’s homeless animals. The organization truly pushes the adopt don’t shop initiative, and it has paid off.
Although some dog euthanasia rates by state are worrying, hearing such stories makes the pawsome team happy, and we support all efforts to aid helpless animals.
Are there different types of animal shelters?
There is a common misunderstanding that all shelters are funded by some sort of government body or taxpayers dollars. While some are municipal shelters, it isn’t the majority.
So, when there isn’t a free handout, thats where private shelters come in. These shelters sometimes partner with municipal locations to help take the load off.
Independent shelters run solely on donations and fundraising. Most shelters in the US fall under this category and only remain open from the good deeds of their neighbors.
Animal Homelessness Statistics
But why do pets end up in shelters? The answer isn’t what you’d think.
7. There Are Around 70 Million Stray Animals in the US
(Source: One Green Planet)
- Surprisingly, one of the main reasons animals end up in shelters is because owners surrender them. The other reason is that they’re picked up by animal control on the streets.
- Owners reclaim up to 30% of shelter dogs. Still, you should consider our pet safety guide to avoid losing your furry pal.
- Only 10% of animals taken to shelters are spayed or neutered, which only adds to the animal shelter overpopulation statistics.
That’s why initiatives working to have animals spayed and neutered are vital. It’s more than a way to slow down population issues. It also reduces animal breeding for the wrong reasons.
8. Only One Out of Every Ten Dogs Will Find a Permanent Home
(Source: Do Something)
- 25% of all dogs that enter shelters are purebred. You can do a mixed-breed DNA test to find out more about your dog’s breed.
- It’s impossible to figure out the exact amount of homeless animals in the US. Besides, animal shelter statistics show they could be missing around 70 million stray cats.
- Unfortunately, cat euthanasia rates can be significantly higher because their adoption rates are lower. But more on that a bit later.
Remember that shelters require a lot of money to keep their doors open.
Animal Shelter Funding Statistics
Funding for shelters comes from the government and many different organizations. Let’s see how much money it takes.
9. Between 2008–2017, the ASPCA Provided $100 Million in Grants
- Those funds helped over 3000 animal shelters, government agencies, sanctuaries, and rescue groups.
- A healthy dog costs a shelter $200 for vet wellness checks and vaccines alone. That doesn’t include a bed, food, or any of the other basic pup needs.
- Adopting a dog is a massive responsibility. Still, pet owners statistics show the US is the biggest dog-loving country globally with 89.7 million dogs.
Pet Adoption Statistics
Now that we know the basics let’s have a look at what percentage of pets are adopted.
10. 61% Of Pet Households Care for More Than One Animal
(Source: The Humane Society of the United States)
- In 2020, 19% of all dogs came from a shelter. Also, 26% of owned cats in the US were from animal shelters.
- Between 2019–2020, stray cats in shelters had the lowest percentage since 2015 — only 21%. Between 2017–2018, it was 32%.
- While Covid-19 has been difficult, it did have a positive impact on adoption rates. Between April–May 2020, researching animal adoption increased by 250% worldwide. While pup adoptions searches have decreased, searches for kitties have remained remarkably higher than in previous years
It’s not only the animal shelter stats we need to look at. Strays and abandoned animals make up much of the animal population.
11. 88% of Pets Living in Underserved Communities Aren’t Spayed or Neutered
(Source: The Humane Society of the United States)
- Stray dogs facts show that between 2019–2020, only 5% of all pups taken off the street were strays.
- Unfortunately, stray kittens between 0–6 months have only a 25% survival rate. At least by the time they reach adulthood, the number rises to 70%.
- A cat older than 18 months has an adoption rate of only 60%, while it’s 82% for a kitten.
It’s such a shame that animal abandonment facts aren’t more promising.
12. In 2015, Shelters Received 36% of Abandoned Animals
(Source: American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)
- A further 14% were dropped off at a vet.
- But that’s not all. 11% of abandoned animals were given to strangers.
- Only 1% were set free to fend for themselves.
So, as bad as some of the animal shelter statistics are, we can be grateful that shelters are there to begin with.
Animal Shelter Volunteer Statistics
Shelters would be nothing without their amazing volunteers that dedicate time, effort, and financial contributions to help save more animals.
13. In 2016, 2,546 Volunteers Provided 175,000 Hours of Support to Needy Animals
(Source: Animal Humane Society)
- In the same year, 376 volunteered and became foster parents to over 3,000 animals before their adoption. If you’re thinking of fostering have a look at how to take care of a pup.
- In 2016, the Animal Humane Society received $6.5 million.
- Additionally, donors’ estate plans provided over $2.4 million.
The Animal Humane Society is one of many that contribute to the declining United States animal shelter statistics. But it’s not just the shelters that receive benefits.
14. Volunteering Can Help Fight Depression and Anxiety
- We know being around animals has a good impact on us. There are even pups prescribed to help people with mental health issues. So, both you and the shelter animals can benefit from each other.
- Plus, you won’t have to wait and see the results. The animals you work with will change dramatically as soon as they receive the love and care they deserve.
- You can also learn a lot from volunteer work — civic responsibility, time management, and the vital impact of helping others.
Volunteer where you can, and help out animals that might not get another chance to feel what it’s like to be cared for.
While Covid-19 has been hard on most people, it did open up free time for volunteers to help out more often.
COVID-19 Impact on Animal Shelter Population Statistics
The pandemic opened up a whole lot of homes for shelter animals. Since most started working from home, they finally had the opportunity to get a pet.
15. Between 2019–2020, There Was a 25.1% Decrease in Shelter Surrender by Owners.
- Shelter euthanasia dropped by 44.6% in the same period.
- Amazingly, in 2021, shelter euthanasia dropped by 53.9%, compared to 2019.
- Adoption rates between 2019–2021 increased by 4.6%, adding to the live outcomes for shelter animals which increased from 85% in 2019 to 89.3% in 2021.
As you can see, whichever way you slice it. The animal shelter population is seeing a decrease in bad outcomes. We attribute this to additional volunteers, more adoptions, and a serious increase in those helping strays in their area.
We’ve learned a lot about national animal shelter statistics.
You now know that 6.5 million animals enter US shelters each year. Out of those, about 3.2 million get adopted. Unfortunately, another three million are euthanized.
Still, no-kill shelters are on the rise. Delaware even became the first no-kill state in the US.
You can do a lot to help lower the animal shelter statistics even further. Consider donating, volunteering, or fundraising money for your local shelter.
How long do animals stay in shelters before being put down?
It depends on the state you’re in. Also, not all animals are euthanized. Overall, the average period before an animal is adopted, euthanized, or sold is between five to seven days, but it can be as short as 48–72 hours. The time laws are in place so owners can find their lost animals.
How many animals are abused each year?
Over one million animals are hurt, killed, or abused during episodes of domestic violence. What’s more, there’s a strong correlation between people who are violent towards their partner and their animals. The police even use animal abuse to help find individuals that could be a danger to society.
What happens to animals in shelters?
An animal is first brought there by the owners, a good samaritan, or animal control. The shelter will care for it, but if the owners don’t come to get it, the animal will be housed, fed, and loved by employees and volunteers. Unfortunately, they can only do this for a limited time because of overcrowding. That’s why you should always consider adoption.
Did Covid-19 impact adoption rates?
Looking at U.S. pet ownership statistics, adoptions increased dramatically during the pandemic, peaking between April–May 2020. Online searches for animal adoption increased by 250%. While dog adoptions have slowly declined down to pre-pandemic numbers. Cat adoptions have remained substantially higher.
How many animals are euthanized each year?
It’s the most challenging part of working in a shelter. Close to three million animals are euthanized there each year. Some of it is due to legitimate medical reasons or an animal getting too old. But others are mercy killings. Certain animals have such a small chance of adoption that they’d spend much of their life in a cage, never knowing what having a family is like. That’s another big reason why more people should consider adoption.
How old do you have to be to volunteer at an animal shelter?
Usually, the age limit is 16 years and older, but each shelter will have its own protocol. So, we recommend doing your research to find out more. If you’re younger, they may require a legal guardian to sign off on it.
How to volunteer at an animal shelter?
Animal shelters don’t just need financial help. Volunteering your time is also a great way to help them out. Call your local rescue organizations or shelters, and see what they need. It usually involves feeding, cleaning, and playing with the animals.
How to help animal shelters?
Financial contributions are what keeps animal shelters going. If you can’t personally donate money, then starting a funding program is also an option. Perhaps you can even organize a garage sale of items you no longer use and donate the profits to help lower the animal shelter statistics.
Merry Christmas Everyone
By Nathan Donley, Tari Gunstone on June 1, 2021 أعرض هذا باللغة العربية
They harm worms, beetles and thousands of other subterranean species that are vital to agriculture
Scoop up a shovelful of healthy soil, and you’ll likely be holding more living organisms than there are people on Earth. Like citizens of an underground city that never sleeps, tens of thousands of subterranean species of invertebrates, nematodes, bacteria and fungi are constantly filtering our water, recycling nutrients and helping to regulate the planet’s temperature.
But under fields covered in tightly knit rows of corn, soybeans, wheat and other monoculture crops, a toxic soup of insecticides, herbicides and fungicides is wreaking havoc, according to our recent analysis in the journal Frontiers in Environmental Science. The study—to our knowledge the most comprehensive review ever conducted on how pesticides affect soil health—should trigger immediate and substantive changes in how the Environmental Protection Agency assesses the risks posed by the nearly 850 pesticide ingredients approved for use in the U.S.
Regulations currently ignore pesticides’ harm to soil species. Our study leaves no doubt that this disregard must change. For our analysis, conducted by researchers at the Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth and the University of Maryland, we looked at nearly 400 published studies comprising more than 2,800 experiments on how pesticides affect soil organisms. Our review encompassed 275 unique species or types of soil organisms and 284 different pesticides or pesticide mixtures.
In just over 70 percent of those experiments, pesticides were found to harm organisms critical to maintaining healthy soils—harms that have never been considered in the EPA’s safety reviews. Pesticide-intensive agriculture and pollution are driving factors in the precipitous decline of many soil organisms, such as ground beetles and ground-nesting bees. They have been identified as the most significant driver of soil biodiversity loss in the past decade.
Yet pesticide companies and our pesticide regulators have ignored that research. The EPA, which is responsible for pesticide oversight in the U.S., openly acknowledges that somewhere between 50 and 100 percent of all agriculturally applied pesticides end up on the soil. Yet to assess pesticides’ harms to soil species, the agency still uses a single test species—one that spends its entire life aboveground in artificial boxes—to estimate risk to all soil organisms: the European honeybee.
The fact that the EPA relies on a species that literally may never touch soil in its entire life to represent the thousands of species that live or develop underground offers a disturbing glimpse of how the U.S. pesticide regulatory system is set up to protect the pesticide industry instead of species and their ecosystems. What this ultimately means is that pesticide approvals happen without any regard for how those chemicals can harm soil organisms.
To add to this, as principles of regenerative agriculture and soil health gain popularity around the world, pesticide companies have jumped on the bandwagon to greenwash their products. Every major company now has Web materials touting its role in promoting soil health, often advocating for reducing tilling and planting cover crops.
As general tenets, both these practices are indeed good for soil health and, if adopted responsibly, are great steps to take. But companies know that these practices are often accompanied by increased pesticide use. When fields are not tilled, herbicides are frequently used to kill weeds, and cover crops are often killed with chemicals before crop planting. This “one step forward, one step back” approach is preventing meaningful progress to protect our soils. Pesticide companies have so far been successful in coopting “healthy soil” messaging because our regulators have shown no willingness to protect soil organisms from pesticides.
The long-term environmental cost of that failure can no longer be ignored. Soils are some of the most complex ecosystems on Earth, containing nearly a quarter of the planet’s biodiversity. Protecting them should be a priority, not an afterthought. Our research indicates that achieving this will require that we reduce the world’s growing and unsustainable reliance on pesticide-intensive agriculture. And it will require that the EPA take aggressive steps to protect soil health.
By JOEL FREEDMAN Jul 24, 2021
Three members of Compassionate Consumers, a vegan activist group in Rochester, surreptitiously entered a large commercial egg farm in Wayne County three times during the summer of 2004. A year later, after the activists were unsuccessful in their efforts to get animal cruelty charges against the company, Compassionate Consumers released a graphic video of conditions at the 700,000-hen facility. The activists took several injured hens from the facility and found homes for them.
The release of the video did not result in cruelty charges against the commercial farm. Instead, Adam Durand and the two others were indicted for burglary, petit larceny, and criminal trespass. The egg farm did not press charges against them until after the video was made public.
The video depicts birds packed in wire cages so small that they cannot spread their wings. They had been subjected to painful beak trimmings. Many birds were found dead in their cages. Many live birds were submerged in manure piles under their cages. Some of the hens were observed with their heads stuck between the cage bars.
The activists recorded everything they saw and did during their unauthorized visits to the egg farm. They gave this evidence to law enforcement officials in hopes the farm would be held accountable.
When they were arrested for their endeavors, I thought about the words of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Cowardice asks the question, Is it safe? Expediency asks the question, Is it all right? And there comes a point when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor polite, nor popular, but one must take it because his conscience tells him it is right.”
I believe the three activists acted conscientiously and courageously to expose the cruelties that existed — and still do — in the egg production industry.
Two of the activists pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of petit larceny and criminal trespass and were sentenced to probation and community service. Durand went to trial. A jury acquitted him of burglary and larceny. He was convicted of three misdemeanor criminal trespass charges. The trial and the cruelty to animals at the egg farm were reported in the Finger Lakes Times and throughout America and the world, including coverage by The New York Times, the Associated Press and ABC’s “Prime Time.”
A Wayne County judge disregarded a pre-sentence probation department recommendation for leniency. He imposed the harshest penalty ever imposed in New York on an individual who, with no prior arrests, had been convicted only of misdemeanor trespass. Durand was sentenced to six months in the Wayne County Jail with a $1,500 fine, a year of probation, and 100 hours of community service.
The Appellate Division released Durand after 35 days of incarceration while the court considered his appeal. The appellate judges found that the Wayne County judge had erred because he had considered the burglary and larceny charges when passing sentence, even though Durand had been acquitted of those charges. The Wayne County judge then re-sentenced Durand only to the time he had already served in jail.
This large egg farm eventually sold its facility to another large-scale egg producer.
I recently phoned Durand, who told me he “learned a heck of a lot about the criminal justice system” during his ordeal. His fellow inmates treated him with respect, but a few corrections officers ridiculed him for taking a stand on behalf of the birds. Durand has no regrets about what he did and remains committed to the cause of animal rights.
I decided to write this essay because although the video was made in 2004, the horrifying conditions that were exposed then still exist at large-scale egg production facilities. A common practice by the egg industry is induced molting — prolonged starvation to shock the hens into laying more eggs. And horrific cruelty also continues at animal research labs, puppy mills, pigeon shoots, slaughterhouses, live lobster tanks, factory farms, live animal auctions, roadside zoos, rodeos and other violent spectacles, and countless other places.
Speciesism is the misguided belief that animals are inherently inferior to humans, exist only to be exploited by humans, and are unworthy of moral consideration. I believe speciesism is systemic and widespread in America and throughout our world.
Speciesism is seen in everyday conversations that include “cruelty clichés” such as “killing two birds with one stone … more than one way to skin a cat … You’re a dead duck … beating a dead horse to death … bleeding like a stuck pig.” False and negative images of animals are evident when people insult other people by referring to them as an animal (a brute), a pig (a slob), a turkey (a stupid person), a dog (lazy, worthless or ugly), a snake in the grass (deceptive, sleazy).
My wish is for the kind of world Rev. King envisioned in which “We shall overcome” not only racial divides but also other evils that have caused so much unnecessary suffering for humans and for other sentient beings who share the world with us.
According to the Gospel of The Holy Twelve (GH12), Jesus frequently healed and rescued animals. He was their savior too. This is why on many occasions “the birds gathered around him, and welcomed him with their song, and other living creatures came unto his feet, and they ate out of his hands.”
Yes, I am among the few who accept the authenticity of this gospel, but mainstream Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and other world religions also share a recognition for kindness to animals. Whatever our religious/spiritual differences may be, and whether we pray in private or pray in a church, synagogue, mosque, or other places of worship, I believe the worship God appreciates the most is when we treat others — including non-human sentient beings — in a manner in which we would want others to treat us.
Canandaigua resident Joel Freedman contributes essays and book reviews to the Finger Lakes Times frequently.
Why does PETA work so hard to take down dog breeders and puppy mills? Simple—breeding animals is killing them. Every time a breeder brings another puppy into the world, a dog sitting in a shelter loses a chance at finding a loving home.
What’s a dog breeder?
Anyone who uses dogs’ reproduction to make a profit is a breeder. Some may be small-time “backyard” operations, while others could be filthy industrial-sized puppy mills. Regardless of size, every breeder is responsible for exacerbating the overpopulation crisis.
In a time of extreme companion animal overpopulation, breeding dogs is always irresponsible and cruel. Dog breeders treat living individuals as commodities to be genetically manipulated for profit. In this industry, many dogs are kept in crates and cages, where they live alone, never experiencing the affection of a loving family.
How are dog breeders worsening the overpopulation crisis?
There’s no excuse for bringing more puppies into the world. More than 6 million animals end up homeless every year, and half of them must be euthanized because there simply aren’t enough proper homes for them. Every time a dog is bred, more dogs lose the opportunity to have a good life.
Few breeders require the puppies they sell to be spayed or neutered, so they can soon have litters of their own, further exacerbating the overpopulation crisis. Just one unaltered female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in only six years.
Breeders don’t see dogs as individuals with personalities and specific needs—they just see dollar signs. When fleeting trends arise around particular breeds, such as the craze for huskies fueled by HBO’s Game of Thrones, dog breeders pump out dogs just to satisfy humans’ most recent whim. The pet trade encourages the public to view animals as impulse purchases, no different from fashion accessories or home decor, rather than as thinking, feeling beings who deserve love, respect, and a lifetime commitment.
Many other unwanted animals—who are abandoned but never make it into a shelter—suffer and die after being hit by cars or attacked by other animals, succumbing to disease or the elements, or enduring other awful fates.
Are dog breeders always bad news?
When millions of dogs must die every year because no one will adopt them, breeding a dog even once is unethical. Instead, guardians should be having their animal companions spayed or neutered.
The dog-breeding industry includes puppy mills—hellish mass-breeding facilities in which dogs are treated like puppy-producing machines and never given any love or attention or even the opportunity to stretch their legs.
In numerous investigations, PETA has exposed puppy-mill breeders who keep dogs confined to filthy cages that are barely any larger than their own bodies, causing them extreme suffering and distress. Kept in cramped wooden hutches with wire flooring or chained to trees with little to no shelter from the elements, they suffer from illnesses and injuries. Dogs coming from these horrific compounds are often denied proper veterinary care and socialization. Imagine being forced to live amid your own waste, with pus-filled wounds, agonizing ear infections, and deadly parasites. This is the reality of life in a puppy mill.
Puppy-mill breeders force dogs to reproduce repeatedly until their bodies wear out from the strain of being continually pregnant in such impoverished, harsh conditions. At that point, female dogs are worthless to a breeder and are often taken to a shelter, auctioned off, or even killed.
Bigotry begins when categories such as race, age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, or species are used to justify discrimination.
Do puppy mills and breeders really sell sick dogs?
Genetic defects are rampant in any breeding scenario. These can include physical problems that require costly veterinary treatment as well as personality disorders that often frustrate people who buy them, leading them to abandon their dogs.
Reckless breeding and the infatuation with “pure” bloodlines lead to inbreeding. This causes painful and life-threatening disabilities in “purebred” dogs, including crippling hip dysplasia, blindness, deafness, heart defects, skin problems, and epilepsy. Dogs don’t care whether their physical appearance conforms to a judge’s standards, but they are the ones who suffer the consequences of genetic manipulation.
What’s the difference between buying a dog from a breeder and adopting from a shelter?
Any socially conscious animal shelter will ensure that dogs have all recommended vaccinations, are spayed or neutered, and have been socialized well enough to become part of a loving family. They screen families thoroughly and require an adoption fee to ensure that the potential adopter is ready for a lifetime commitment.
What if I want a specific breed?
If you’re determined to have a dog of a specific breed, there are many waiting to be adopted—one in four dogs in shelters is a “purebred.” Additionally, there are rescue groups looking for homes for dogs of just about every breed. Petfinder.com is a great resource. If everyone were to stop buying puppies from pet stores, there would be no market for mass-produced puppies, puppy mills would go out of business, and a lot fewer dogs would suffer.
Why are backyard breeders bad?
An amateur dog breeder is just as unethical as any puppy mill but on a smaller scale. Using an individual’s reproductive ability to make a quick buck isn’t just creepy, it also adds to the overpopulation crisis, just as puppy mills do.
And just like puppy mills, amateur breeders can breed dogs with health problems, passing along genes that cause suffering in litter after litter. These types of breeders may also cut costs by failing to provide proper veterinary care. Everything from parasites to bone defects to the deadly parvovirus could very well be overlooked by backyard breeders.
Is breeding your own dog a bad idea, too?
It’s irresponsible to bring more dogs into the world when millions are killed every day because no one wants them. Animal companions can live longer, healthier lives by being spayed or neutered.
Guardians may feel that their animal companion should experience motherhood, but having babies is by no means vital to living a fulfilling life. And while the intentions of adopters may be good, there’s no way of knowing what will happen to the puppies once they’ve been adopted.
Does breeding shorten a dog’s life?
Pregnancy and birth in any species comes with inherent risks to the mother and the fetus. Spaying eliminates the stress and discomfort that females endure during heat periods, eliminates the risk of uterine cancer, and greatly reduces the risk of mammary cancer. Neutering makes males far less likely to roam and fight, prevents testicular cancer, and reduces the risk of prostate cancer.
How many litters can a dog legally be bred to have?
There have been some efforts to limit the number of litters a breeder can register with larger institutions such as the American Kennel Club. But currently, there are no laws that regulate the extent to which a breeder can breed an animal for profit.
PETA supports legislative measures that mandate spaying and neutering.
Is PETA against owning pets?
Domestic animals are incapable of surviving on their own, so it’s our responsibility to take the best possible care of them. PETA fully supports sharing our lives and homes with animal companions who are loved, treated well, and given proper care.
How can I help take down dog breeders and puppy mills?
Never buy animals from puppy mills, breeders, or pet stores. If you have the time, money, and patience to care for a companion animal properly and for a lifetime, adopt from a shelter. Consider adopting two, so that they can keep each other company when you’re not home. And be sure to make a spay or neuter appointment right away.
Honey is not vegan. As the honey industry moves slowly towards obsolescence its undeniable cruelty becomes clear, but the 10 billion dollars it pulls in each year the leaders and members of this industry will say and deny anything to keep it going.
Honey is probably the product most frequently mistaken as harmless. There is a common misconception that honeybees make their honey especially for us, but this could not be much further from the truth.
Because they are insects and because they are seen flying free, bees are considered free of the usual cruelties of the animal farming industry. However, bees undergo treatments similar to those endured by other farm animals. They go through routine examination and handling, artificial feeding regimes, drug and pesticide treatment, genetic manipulation, rape, artificial insemination, transportation (by air, rail, and road), and slaughter.
Like cows and chickens, bees are used as bio-machines to make a product for human consumption. Like all forms of slavery in the modern world, bees are seized as production units, fit the “how to benefit their owner” method.
Bees consume sucrose, found in flower nectar, hold it in their primary stomach, and then convert it to glucose and fructose – that is what we call honey. When the bees get back to their hive, they regurgitate the semi-digested material, and the other bees feed on it. Honey is essential to feed their young. In the winter, pollen is less widespread; therefore, they work continually through the other months to hoard their supply.
As opposed to the common conception, bees can feel pain. Bees have brains and central nervous systems with which they comprehend their surroundings. Bees have a unique and complex form of communication based on sight, motion, and scent that scientists and scholars are working to understand. Bees alert other members of their hive to food, new hive locations, and conditions within their hive (such as nectar supply) through intricate “dance” movements.
Studies have shown that bees are capable of abstract thinking as well as distinguishing their family members from other bees in the hive, using visual cues to map their travels, and finding a previously used food supply, even when their home has been moved. And similar to the way that smells can invoke powerful memories in humans, they can also trigger memories in bees, such as memories of where the best food can be found.
For humans to consume honey first it must be stolen. The act of taking away food produced for the bee’s young is plain and simple theft. Humans steal the bees’ sole source of nutrition and replace it with sugar syrups. These syrups are usually made of refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup, the cheapest substitutes available and most contain the poisonous weed killer Glyphosate, so they are inferior and poisonous for bees’ health. These sweeteners harm the bees’ immune systems and can cause genetic changes that reduce their defenses against pesticides. Both of these effects can ultimately damage a beehive. If we are trying to protect these animals, it is logical not to deprive them of their ideal source of nutrition. While some beekeepers claim to only take ‘surplus’ honey, it is not possible to judge how much the hive requires to function optimally and humans will almost always defend profit-making activities.
During the process of taking the food they worked so hard to make, the bees are then violently evacuated from their home. This is done by shaking the hives, using chemical repellents, smoking the bees out, or using forced air to blast them out. Bees are quick to defend their hive when it is disturbed. They do not willingly “give” their honey, they fight for it and many are injured, squashed, or otherwise killed during the conquest of their home.
Bees can only gather a tiny amount of pollen from the flowers in each trip, 75,000 miles of travel and pollen from 2 million flowers are needed to gather just one pound of honey. The honeybee will fly about 800 km in her working life and produce just half a teaspoon of honey. A queen produces 150,000 eggs per year during her 2 years of life in commercial hives.
In cold countries, it is not profitable to keep bees throughout the winter. If there is an unproductive gap ‘Beekeepers’ starve the bees or burn the hives to avoid maintenance. ‘Beekeepers’ douse the hive with petroleum, then burn it with the bees inside. In other times, the bees are simply left to starve to death after the honey is taken.
Bees cannot escape from captivity. Lone bees will rarely make it on their own; they need the support of a colony. If a lone bee does leave her colony, occasionally a new colony may accept her, but most of them will kill her.
The most important reason why bees cannot just fly away is that the ‘beekeepers’ will not let them. ‘Beekeepers’ do their best to prevent swarming (when bees congregate and fly away en-masse), because not only would they lose about half of “their” bees, but bees do not produce honey during the intense preparation of swarming. Beekeepers often kill the old queen and replace her with a new one (older queens are much more likely to swarm than younger ones). Since swarming requires a queen, the queen’s wings are cut off.
When the ‘keeper wants to move a queen to a new colony, she is carried with “bodyguard bees, all of whom, if they survive the transport, will be killed by bees in the new colony. Artificial insemination involving the death of the male is the norm for the new generation of queen bees. The favored method of obtaining bee sperm is to pull off the bee’s head: decapitation sends an electrical impulse to the nervous system, causing sexual arousal. The lower half of the headless bee is then squeezed to make it ejaculate, and the resulting liquid is collected in a hypodermic syringe to be inserted into the female. The queen is being raped.
Queen Bees are purchased from commercial ‘queen suppliers. Hundreds of queens are kept in cages waiting to be shipped around the country. After arrival at the post office or shipping depot, they suffer from overheating, cold, being banged around, and exposed to insecticides. Queens can live for five years but most beekeepers kill and replace them about every two years. There are several reasons for doing that, all of which resort to exerting control over the colony, mostly to keep honey production at a maximum. Artificial pheromones are also used to keep the colonies under control.
Bees are also victims of vivisection. Unfortunately, their quiet nature makes the honeybees easily manipulated and it has been claimed that they make an ideal laboratory animal. Many experiments are conducted to develop colonies that will produce more honey and thus make more money.
As is the “norm” with animal agribusiness, humans mercilessly squeeze profit from the creatures they hold captive. To this end, many ‘beekeepers’ widen their evil business beyond honey to include many other products.
Bee pollen is collected from flowers and brought back to the hive as a load on the hind legs. It is a food source for the bee and is stored in the hive. A colony requires approximately 60lbs of pollen per year to survive. The collection of pollen involves fitting special traps in the hive, to scrape the pollen from the bees’ backs. The artificial passage created by humans is just big enough to allow the bee through so the traps scrape the pollen off.
Bee venom is the sting of the bee. Its collection involves the stretching of an electrically charged membrane in front of the hive. When the bees fly into it, they receive an electric shock and sting the membrane, thus depositing the venom. Bee venom is valued by some for its supposed medicinal qualities but there is no scientific evidence of this.
Royal jelly is a creamy-white sticky fluid, which is made from a blend of two secretions from the glands of the worker bees. Royal jelly is the sole source of nourishment for the queen bee throughout her life. Since royal jelly enables the bee to become a queen, some people foolishly believe they can recapture their lost youth by eating it
Beeswax is secreted by bees to build their hives. The grayish-brown wax is secreted by the bee to construct honeycombs. Beeswax is used in some candles and many “natural” cosmetics. Those cosmetics products are falsely marked as “no animal products”.
Propolis is a resinous substance gathered by bees from trees. It is used to fill holes and varnish, and strengthen the hive. Bees also use it as a natural antibiotic, antiviral, and antifungal agent. It is gathered by humans either by scraping it off the hive or by collecting it on specially made frames. It is used as a medicine and food supplement. It is sometimes called ‘bee glue’ antiseptic.
Humans commercially steal bees’ winter food sources, merely to sweeten their own food. Factory farmed bees are made to endure genetic manipulation, artificial insemination, pesticide poisoning, artificial food, rough handling, smoke, chemical repellents, air blasts, transportation by air, rail, road, and even by mail, and slaughter.
It is so common for humans to steal from bees who have sweeter “sugar”. It is so natural for humans to steal from the weak something so basic to provide something so marginal to the strong. Humans fail to understand what they are doing is stealing from the bee. For them, they falsely believe the bees are giving humans the honey, this is the same mindset with chickens and eggs, cows and milk, sheep, etc. that they exist to give, happily, their body, skin, fur, and secretions to humans!
Humans can thrive without honey in their diets. Several plant-based options can replace honey. The most common vegan alternatives are:
Maple syrup, Blackstrap molasses, Barley malt syrup, Brown rice syrup, Date syrup, Bee Free Honee
The honey industry, like many other commercial industries, is profit-driven where the welfare of the bees is secondary to commercial gain.
“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”