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Shark Finning

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Shark finning… yet another barbaric practice to get your blood boiling. It is estimated that up to 100 MILLION sharks are killed each year for their fins.

The shocking point to this is that a bowl of Shark Fin Soup can cost as much as $150. There is ZERO nutritional value, the taste is mainly from the broth and the fin is added simply to provide texture.


What is really tragic is the fact that the shark gets hauled on board a ship, has its fins sliced off and then is tossed back into the sea and left to drown.

This is the reality of shark finning.

With the Chinese New Year, there has been an inevitable increase in demand for shark fin soup. Although culture is a wonderful thing, there are times when it clouds our judgment and becomes detrimental to the environment. I urge you to PLEASE not order this dish. Inform others, make wise decisions and play an active role in securing the future for all to enjoy. For more info and a list of petitions, click HERE!
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Pic of the Day

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Stunning!

Taiji dolphin slaughter 13 January 2011

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I am at a complete loss for words to explain how utterly disgusted I am. My respect for the Japanese as a nation has plummeted to a new low. The image I had of them as one of the most civilised nations has been completely turned on its head. Their reputation has been tarnished forever. This is nothing short of barbaric savagery.

Mossy Leaf-tailed Gecko

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I have always had a fascination for gecko’s. There is something about them that I find incredibly appealing. At one stage I had a cat that shared my fascination with these creatures although she would bring them into the flat to torment. I could hardly blame the cat though, for this is in their nature.

I recently stumbled across the following images of the Mossy Leaf Tailed Gecko. I am posting these to share with the readers of this blog just how absolutely incredible their camouflage is. 
 According to Wikipedia, this species is to be found in the forests of Madagascar. These geckos can also change the colour of their skin, much like  chameleons do. They have dermal (skin) flaps that further break up their outline when they are at rest. They are listed on appendix 2 of CITES as loss of habitat and collection for the pet trade threatens them.

These gecko’s are nocturnal, their large, yellow lidless eyes with elliptical pupils are well suited to their night time habits. During the day, they usually spend their time resting vertically on branches and tree trunks, with their heads facing downwards. At night they will venture out in search of prey. They are insectivorous and will eat a variety of insects.


Blink and it is GONE!!!
The adults measure on average between 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm’s) and while they are to be found in captivity, they do not fare particularly well. WWF have listed this species on their “Top 10 most wanted list” of animals threatened by illegal wildlife trade. They are being captured and sold at an alarming rate. As far as reproduction is concerned, they will lay eggs are laid +/- every 30 days and take around 90 days to hatch. 

Spain’s national broadcaster bans bullfighting

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MADRID – Spain’s leading broadcaster said Saturday it will no longer show the country’s centuries-old tradition of bullfighting in order to protect children from viewing violence.
Spain’s state network, RTVE, lists its new ban on transmitting bullfighting programs under a chapter called “Violence with animals” in its latest stylebook and says it “will not broadcast bullfighting.”
One of the reasons given by RTVE is that bullfights “generally coincide with hours protected or specially protected for young viewers.”
Karma
“Children can view violence exerted over animals with anxiety and we must therefore avoid it by all means,” the stylebook says. 
Spain has seen a fierce debate over the blood-soaked pageant that has fascinated artists and writers such as Goya, Hemingway and Pablo Picasso.
In July, the influential northeastern region of Catalonia became the second Spanish region to ban bullfighting, joining the Canary Islands, which outlawed the practice in 1991.
The broadcaster has not broadcast bullfighting in any of its programs for months, citing low audience ratings and budget problems over expensive outdoor locations shooting.

Now RTVE has confirmed it is slicing all links with an activity that many Spaniards revere as an art form while others consider a cruel and archaic blood sport with no place in modern society.
Karma
Bulls have been a potent symbol in Spain since prehistoric times, when early human settlers painted images of them on ancient cave walls such as those at Altamira — more than 13,000 years old — in the north of the country.
Every year 250,000 bulls die slow and torturous deaths as a result of the bullfighting industry. While many of us imagine the matador piercing the heart of the bull with one quick movement, in reality the bull is repeatedly stabbed, skewered and slowly weakened as it bleeds to death.
You can make a difference!! 
To sign the petition……. Click HERE

Animal Testing… the ugly truth

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Last year I began educating myself on the horrors of the fur industry. I was shocked and horrified at how naive I was to such blatant and wanton cruelty. Animals skinned alive, beaten to death…not one or two, but MILLIONS!!! This year I will continue to educate myself (and hopefully others too) & shall focus on animal testing, vivisection, cosmetic & pharmaceutical testing.

Tests include…Short-term Toxicity, Skin Penetration, Skin & Eye Irritancy, Skin Sensitization, Phototoxicity,  Mutagenicity, Carcinogenicity, Reproductive Toxicity, Teratogenicity, Photosensitisation, and Finished Product Testing. 



restraints used for Draize test

During another common test, the Draize Test, rabbits are put in full-body restraints while a substance is dripped or smeared into their eyes. They often scream in pain and many break their necks trying to get free. The Draize test has been proven in studies to “grossly over predicted the effects that could be seen in the human eye, and does not reflect the eye irritation hazard for man”

Results of Draize test

Here are some facts you might not have known with regards to animal testing.
94% of animal testing is done to determine the safety of cosmetics and household products leaving only 6% for medical research. Less than 2% of human illnesses (1.16%) are ever seen in animals.


US$5 Billion is spent on animal tests each year. This while people are starving!!



The results from animal experiments can be altered by factors such as diet and bedding. Bedding has been identified as giving cancer rates of over 90% and almost nil in the same strain of mice at different locations.


Despite many Nobel prizes being awarded to vivisectors, only 45% agree that animal experiments are crucial.

Up to 90% of animal test results are discarded as they are inapplicable to man.
95% of drugs passed by animal tests are immediately discarded as useless or dangerous to humans.

At least 50 drugs on the market cause cancer in laboratory animals. They are allowed because it is admitted the animal tests are not relevant.

When asked if they agreed that animal experiments can be misleading ‘because of anatomical and physiological differences between animals and humans’, 88% of doctors agreed.
Procter & Gamble used an artificial musk despite it failing the animal tests, i.e., causing tumours in mice. They said the animal test results were ‘of little relevance for humans’ yet they continue to test on animals. Attempts to sue the manufacturers of the drug Surgam failed due to the testimony of medical experts that: ‘data from animals could not be extrapolated safely to patients’. In the court case when the manufacturers of Thalidomide were being tried, they were acquitted after numerous experts agreed that animal tests could not be relied on for human medicine.
Blood transfusions were delayed 200 years because of animal studies, corneal transplants by 90 years.The lifesaving operation for ectopic pregnancies was delayed 40 years due to vivisection.

 Sex differences among laboratory animals can cause contradictory results. This does not correspond with humans.
According to animal tests, lemon juice is a deadly poison, but arsenic, hemlock and botulin are safeAspirin fails animal tests, as does digitalis (a heart drug), cancer treatments, insulin (causes animal birth defects), penicillin and other safe medicines. They would have been banned if vivisection were heeded!!

88% of stillbirths are caused by drugs which are passed as being safe in animal tests, according to a study in Germany.
61% of birth defects are caused by drugs passed safe in animal tests, according to the same study. Defect rates are 200 times post war levels.

A German doctors’ congress concluded that 6% of fatal illnesses and 25% of organic illness are caused by medicines. All have been animal tested. 
Over 200,000 medicines have been released, most of which are now withdrawn. According to the World Health Organisation, only 240 are ‘essential’.

Rodents are the animals almost always used in cancer research. They never get carcinomas, the human form of cancer, which affects membranes (e.g lung cancer). Their sarcomas affect bone and connecting tissue: the two cannot be compared

An estimated 83% of substances are metabolised by rats in a different way to humans.
Rats are only 37% effective in identifying what causes cancer in humans. Flipping a coin would be 50% accurate. 


The Director of Research Defence Society, (which exists to defend vivisection) was asked if medical progress could be acheived without animal use. His written reply was ‘I am sure it could be’.

33 animals die in laboratories each second worldwide; in the UK, one every four seconds. 9% of anaesthetised animals, intended to recover, die.


At least 450 methods exist with which we can replace animal experiments!


We live in a sick society. The Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw summed it up as saying “Vivisection is a social evil because if it advances human knowledge, it does so at the expense of human character.”


You can make a difference! Take a minute out of your schedule and sign the petition HERE



Great White more threatened than tigers!!

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Great White Shark, taken off Gansbaai, SouthAfrica. Amazing shot! I am hoping to do a cage dive soon. Will let you know how it went of course. Damn! I am looking forward to it. 
The one thing that really scares me is not the multiple rows of around 3000 teeth. Not at all. The thing that really terrifies me is the fact that these apex predators from the ocean are more threatened than tigers! Yup, you read that correctly. More threatened than tigers!
Like tigers, great whites are a top predator and, like tigers, they have suffered in recent years from habitat destruction and hunting. But unlike tigers, great white sharks get little public sympathy, said Dr Ronald O’Dor, senior scientist at the Census of Marine Life, a 10-year study into ocean wildlife.
An article in The Guardian mentions that the number of Great White sharks has dropped to an alarming 3500. This is really frightening, especially when one considers that the demand for shark fin soup has risen steeply over the last few years. Popular movies, such as Peter Benchley’s “Jaws” where these creatures are portrayed as villains don’t help one iota. 
We need to take drastic action. Seriously. Boycott all restaurants selling shark-fin soup. The damn dish has no nutritional value at all and is not doing the environment any good.
On a more positive note, the USA have taken a step in the right direction, and are now at the forefront of shark conservation. The US Senate recently passed the Shark Conservation Act, which bolsters the prohibition of shark-finning in US waters. If you would like to know more about this you can click HERE 

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