This is a future to look forward to. The more people work on changing legislation for sentient beings not called human the better the chances are our generation will see the change.

Animalista Untamed


It most certainly is for me! For me this is so obvious, so reasonable that no legislature could turn it down. I hope and pray Canada will take the lead here, and the rest of the world will quickly fall into line.  Here is the charter, and below the exciting campaign Animal Justice Canada has launched


Whereas non-human animals experience both suffering and pleasure in the same way that humans do;

Whereas discrimination on the basis of arbitrary characteristics, such as species, is a violation of equity, natural justice and the rule of law;

Whereas our legal system must not exclude the most vulnerable members of society;


“Animals” means sentient, non-human animals.

Legal Status

1. Animals have the right to have their interests represented in court.

2. Animals are persons under the law.


View original post 443 more words

adoption, animal shelter, animal welfare, dog, dog adoption, WARL, Washington Animal Rescue League

Saving One Being Helps Many

Here is a wonderful, uplifting and inspirational adoption story that should be copied far and wide. It is from the Washington Animal Rescue League, an animal shelter that tries to find forever homes for all animals that come through its doors.

Home is Where the Heart Is

They say, “Home is where the heart is.”

In this case, “home” is Malta House, an assisted living community in Hyattsville, Maryland. And the “heart” is Olivia, a German shepherd mix who now shares the residence with 31 senior citizens. The story of how this once homeless two-year-old  dog came to Malta House makes you believe that some things really are just meant to be.

Olivia as a puppyOlivia arrived at the Washington Animal Rescue League in December 2013 when she was six months old, one of seven dogs from an overcrowded partner shelter down south. Given her sweet disposition and cute scruffy “beard,” WARL staff were not surprised when she was adopted just one week later. Another successful adoption…or so we thought.

Fate, however, had other plans for Olivia.

Almost two years after leaving WARL, she was returned. It turns out Olivia had severe separation anxiety, which led to excessive barking and urinating and defecating indoors. She just couldn’t handle being left alone.

Not surprisingly given her sensitive nature, Olivia found shelter life extremely stressful and her anxiety only increased…to the point that she required medication. Staff began looking for a special foster home…one where someone was home most, if not all, of the time. They knew they faced a challenge.

Enter Elisabeth Orchard, director of Malta House.

From her years of experience in eldercare, Orchard knew that animals can positively impact the quality of senior citizens’ lives, especially those of people who have little if any contact with the outside world. She already had arranged for Pets on Wheels to periodically visit Malta House but as she explained, “It just isn’t the same as having an animal around all the time.”

So she began looking for a way to bring an animal into Malta House on a longer-term basis, both for the benefit of residents and to help an animal not doing well in a shelter.

Olivia with Malta House residentsWhen Orchard contacted WARL about the possibility of Malta House fostering a dog, fostering coordinator Mandie Worsley immediately thought of Olivia; what better place for a dog with separation anxiety than a community where someone was always there.

But before proceeding, Orchard had to get the approval of residents, so she presented the idea during a Residents’ Council meeting. Most of the residents were unreservedly enthusiastic. A couple, however, who had never lived with cats or dogs were less enthralled, but they said that if having a dog around made other residents happy, they would go along with idea.

Some staff members also had reservations. Yvonne Toukam, for example, was raised in Cameroun, where keeping dogs as pets was not the norm. Plus, her grandfather had died after being bitten by a rabid dog.

But Olivia quickly put everyone at ease. “Her gentle nature charmed everyone,” recalls Caesar Dudley, head of the Residents’ Council. And that includes Yvonne, who now describes Olivia simply as, “my friend.”

Olivia has even surpassed Orchard’s expectations.                 

“She’s very intuitive,” Orchard explains. “She makes the rounds every day, nudging residents gently for a bit of attention, which they are only too happy to give.

Her impact is felt by everyone, especially residents with dementia or mental health issues. “Some of our residents have lost some of their short-term memory,” Orchard explains, “but Olivia may bring back positive memories from years ago, which adds to their quality of life. She has a calming effect on  everyone.”

“We love Olivia,” says resident Eppie Fields. “She makes everyone happy. We didn’t want her to leave.”

So Malta House residents and staff chose to make the arrangement permanent. A mere three weeks after she arrived, they voted unanimously to adopt Olivia.

And that’s good news for both the dog and the seniors in her “care.”

Olivia on the floor with childHer living arrangement may be unconventional, but it’s obvious Olivia is thriving in an environment where she is with people all the time. When not making her rounds in the common areas, she relaxes in the front office, where she has a bed, food bowl, and water bowl. She enjoys regular walks, during which she has the opportunity to socialize with many of the neighborhood canines.

When Friday rolls around, Olivia takes a break from her responsibilities and heads home for the weekend with Orchard or Gary Randall, one of Malta House residents’ caregivers. But while she enjoys these breaks from her weekly routine, she’s always happy to get back to her adoring fans on Mondays. “She gets very excited as we approach the front door and runs in and greets all the residents right away,” says Orchard. And they can’t wait to see her.

As Dudley explains, “She has brought joy into this house.”

You can learn more about the Washington Animal Rescue League here:


Thank you for spreading the word on animal awareness!

animal abuse, animal rescue, animal rights, animal welfare, humane education, legal, Tierquälerei, Tierrecht, Tierschutz, victory

When Laws Change in Favor of Animals, There is Hope

Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 3.15.22 AM

photo: Washington Post

In most legal systems of the world animals are still “things” and not beings. Even though this has not (yet) changed in the United States, it is a big step in this direction when animal cruelty is to be a treated as a crime by the FBI. This includes only companion animals, for now. Mary Lou Randour, a psychologist who started the fight for this change, is to be applauded for her consistent push that has significantly paved the path towards success.

You can read more here:


Thank you for spreading the word on animal awareness!

animal welfare, Ocean Conservancy, Tierschutz

Success in a Micro Way

What do tiny plastic beads have to do with animals? Microbeads have been added to many products, e.g. toothpaste, shower gels, soaps, etc. These plastic particles will then wander from your bathroom over the drainage system into the waters flowing into the oceans. And there they will be eaten by the animals. due to the size of these particles there is no way of filtering them out of the water and it has been noticed that some fish are no longer able to swim into deeper water due to the buoyancy connected to the plastic in their system.

A ban has been successfully introduced into law:

“Congress has backed a bill banning the use of microbeads in personal care products. And just last week, President Obama signed this bill into law.

Microbeads might be tiny, but this legislation is huge. The new law means companies will phase out the sale of products containing microbeads over the next two years, and stop making personal care products with microbeads altogether by July 1, 2017.

These small plastic particles have been a staple ingredient in everyday products we use like body washes, facial scrubs and toothpastes. Since they’re too small to be filtered out by water treatment plants, they flow straight from our sinks to the ocean and into the mouths and gills of sea creatures around the world.”

You can read more here:




Thank you for spreading the news on animal awareness!

animal abuse, animal rights, animal trade, animal welfare, chicken, farm animals, Henne, Huhn, Mercy for Animals, Petition, Tierquälerei, Tierschutz, victory

Putting on Pressure Helps; One Company More Pledges to Go Cage-Free

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 9.35.49 AM

photo: Mercy for Animals

Factory farming has led to some of the cruelest forms of animal abuse. Thanks to rising awareness and continuous animal advocacy another company has decided that moving away from cruelty towards animals is a win-win deal. The fast-food chain Wendy’s has pledged to stop buying eggs from caged hens, thereby following Panera Bread, Taco Bell and other food-providing companies.

This shows that petitions can lead to change, and that the voices of those speaking out against animal abuse are being heard.

You can read more here:





Please share!

Thank you for spreading the word on animal awareness!

animal welfare, Tierschutz, victory

Animal News 2015: A Look Back

The animal activist Karen Dawn has put together a wonderfully informative and uplifting look back on news related to good news for animals published in 2015:

“Cecil was undoubtedly the biggest animal media story of the year. The outpouring of grief was not limited to the one single lion who was lured out of national park and shot by a trophy hunter. In a monologue that was uploaded to YouTube and Facebook, receiving 17 Million views, Jimmy Kimmel epitomized public opinion as he asked why anybody would want to kill a lion. Cecil’s death brought trophy hunting into the limelight and under scrutiny in 2015. Many airlines banned the transport of hunting trophies as we saw the tide turn forcefully against the macabre sport.

The Pope made huge news when he released his encyclical, “On Care of our Common Home.” With the directive that we should not “cause animals to suffer and die needlessly” and with the following stunning line he gave animal advocates a great opportunity for follow-up: “Clearly, the Bible has no place for a tyrannical anthropocentrism unconcerned for other creatures.” Tyrannical anthropocentrism. That’s from the pope!

Bruce Friedrich grabbed the opportunity, and managed to get op-eds about the pope’s directive published in both the Los Angeles Times and USA Today, in June and September respectively, in which he made clear that in the US in this day and age, eating animals is indeed causing them to suffer and die needlessly.

The New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof followed up on the pope’s encyclical with a column titled, “A Pope for All Species.” He noted that the pope’s call for animal rights was not getting enough attention. Kristof was clearly attempting to change that, and he surely had some impact with his column in the New York Times.

Kristof also covered a Mercy for Animals undercover investigation of a poultry slaughter plant. He described what the animals suffer in horrifying detail. In another column, titled, “Our Water-Guzzling Food Factory,” he referred to the “ruthless cruelty” of factory farming and let his readers know that nothing would reduce their water consumption as much as limiting their intake of meat.  In another, titled “The (Fake) Meat Revolution” he opined, “My take is that the optimal approach to food, for health and ethical reasons, may be vegetarianism.” And in a warm-hearted piece on “Hero Rats,” animals who can help detect land mines (being too light-weight to set them off) Kristof let us know that the handlers develop such affection for the pampered animals that killing rats in their homes becomes out of the question.

Throughout 2015 Nicholas Kristof offered a consistent, persuasive and widely circulated voice for animals.

Kristof’s wasn’t the only strong voice for animals in the New York Times. When, thanks to the fine work of the folks at the Animal Legal Defense Fund (and others such as PETA’s Matthew Strugar), Idaho’s ag-gag law was overturned, the New York Times editorial board covered the event with an editorial titled “Exposing Abuse on the Factory Farm.” The piece noted “the often sadistic treatment of factory-farmed cows, pigs and chickens” and referred to ag-laws  as “nothing more than government-sanctioned censorship of a matter of public interest.”

The New York Times gave front page place placement to its own investigative piece on shocking animal abuse at the taxpayer funded U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, following up with a searing editorial on the issue. And Sea Shepherd’s fight against illegal fishing in Antarctica also made the paper’s front page, as did, in the same week in July, a story on the human slave trade in Thailand titled “Forced Labor for Cheap Fish.”

The paper also published, “I Was an Animal Experimenter,” in which Paul Gazda discussed the hideous things he did to pigeons and rats when he worked in a lab, and told us of his awakening twenty years later.

Given the reach, prestige and influence of the New York Times, looking back and seeing that kind of coverage in the paper (plus more) over the year is reason for hope.

Other influential papers gave animals important coverage this year. I noted above Bruce Friedrich’s Los Angeles Times piece on the Pope. He also placed a superb pro-veg piece in that paper titled, “The Cruelty Behind Your Ballpark Hot Dog.” And the Los Angeles Times also ran Daniel Engber’s “The confusion of fur-hating carnivores” in which he reminded readers, “You can sew a lovely coat without a speck of fur, but you can also cook a sumptuous meal without a shred of meat.”

Just in time for the holiday season, the little powerhouse group Compassion Over Killing released their undercover investigation of a pig slaughter plant. It got superb and widespread coverage, including in the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, which noted, “workers dragging and beating pigs at a slaughterhouse that supplies Hormel Foods Corp.”

The Wall Street Journal also covered HSUS’s undercover investigation of a Costco egg supplier, as did the New York Times and many other outlets. The UK Mirror described the video as “sickening.”

As Jon Stewart left Comedy Central and ventured into late night prime time television, his venture, guided by his wife Tracey, into the vegetarian world also got a lot of media attention. Jon and Tracey have become part of the wonderful Farm Sanctuary family, as they are in the process of turning their New Jersey farm into one of the organization’s rescue centers. And Tracey has released a beautiful book on our relationship with animals, titled “Do Unto Others.” The widespread coverage, including a fun and inviting interview on NPR’s Fresh Air, has been a boon for animals.

Just as warm and inviting has been the advertising campaign for Vodafone. The ads have gone viral on social media, which reaches more people than any traditional media can. At Thanksgiving I sent out the company’s beautiful Tommy the Turkey ad, in which a family prepared to raise and slaughter their own Thanksgiving turkey but fell in love with him instead. Earlier in the year they had released, “Piggy Sue,” another must watch: https://youtu.be/_KTfyrTTey8
(That’s the New Zealand version — there is a Scottish version as well.)
And in time for Christmas there was this Piggy Sue follow-up: https://youtu.be/Ujvin8f5i1A
When a communications company uses the veg message in its advertising it suggests a societal shift for which we can all give thanks.

While we are on the topic of social media: if you are on Facebook and you don’t follow (via hitting “Like”) Vegan Outreach, you are missing out. It seems every day they post a new heartwarming graphic that’s ideal for sharing. Here is today’s http://tinyurl.com/h9g7fs9

The Blackfish effect did not let up in 2015. Ex SeaWorld trainer John Hargrove released his book “Beneath the Surface” and got a lot of great press, including a compelling interview on NPR’s Fresh Air. And in response to a request by SeaWorld for a permit to expand its tanks in San Diego, the California Coastal Commission added a stipulation that SeaWorld must stop breeding orcas. That led to more great press.

Now SeaWorld is suing the Coastal Commission. The San Diego Tribune has a poll asking, “Should SeaWorld be allowed to breed orcas?” Please vote. And the article on the same page could really use some animal friend comments beneath it. We can help turn the lawsuit into another opportunity for good media coverage. Go to http://tinyurl.com/qe8c6gj

The Washington Post weekly columnist, Charles Krauthammer, used the Blackfish Effect as his jumping off point for a column titled “Free Willy,” in which he suggested that while we may be disgusted by things our ancestors have done, “contemporary practices will be deemed equally abominable by succeeding generations.” He wrote, “I’m convinced that our great-grandchildren will find it difficult to believe that we actually raised, herded and slaughtered them on an industrial scale — for the eating.”  Remember, that’ a columnist in the Washington Post!

We got great news this year for elephants as Ringling Brothers pledged to stop using them in circuses by 2018. (That’s when the Los Angeles and Oakland bullhook bans come into effect.) That led to more widespread media coverage about the treatment of wild animals in circuses.

That’s just a small sample of the great coverage animals got in the media in 2015.”

Thank you to Karen Dawn and her Dawn Watch http://www.dawnwatch.com

And thank you to all for sharing and spreading the news on animal awareness!