For Christians around the world, Easter is a time to observe and celebrate.
In a conflation of various myths and pagan practices the Easter bunny (rabbit/hare) has now become associated with Easter. It has become a symbol of rebirth and fertility associated with eggs.
When it comes to the fur industry, though, these cute fluffy creatures have a rough time.
Increasingly, worldwide, millions of rabbits are being farmed and killed solely for their fur – a total waste of life.
These rabbits are kept in disgusting battery farm conditions.
They are then brutally killed and skinned, sometimes while still alive.
Not only is rabbit fur used in the making of fur coats and hats but is also used as fur trim. Fur trim is a totally decorative and unnecessary part of any garment.
Fur from rabbits is often the base of trinkets, such as pet toys and may even be labelled as faux fur.
It takes 30-40 rabbits to make just one fur coat.
Angora fur is sheared off the live Angora rabbit and recently PeTA exposed the intense cruelty in this process.
As a result, many retailers have withdrawn Angora based products from their shelves.
Please don’t buy any fur-trimmed item unless you are absolutely sure it is fake.
The idiom A leopard cannot change its spots means that a person’s nature cannot change. However, the story of how Shembe Church members are changing their leopard skin ceremonial dress belies this idea.
The Shembe Church, which is a mixture of Christianity and Zulu culture, is one of the biggest traditional religious groups in South Africa with around 5 million members.
Leopards are considered a symbol of pride, beauty and wealth.
Leopard skins are viewed as essential attire for church goers.
Thousands of leopards are slaughtered for their skins.
If this continues, Africa’s leopards, already listed as “near threatened” by the International Union Conservation of Nature (IUCN), will become extinct.
Thanks to the Furs for Life project run by a conservation group, Panthera, more than 6 000 faux leopard fur skins were donated to the Shembe. These are excellent replicas of the real skin with its distinctive pattern.
Lizwi Ncwane an elder of the Shembe church totally supports this project but acknowledges the difficulties in getting all the church members on board. He explains,”Some people are ignorant about the conservation of a species”. They want authentic leopard skins.
Despite this, the fact that some people are even willing to consider alternatives is remarkable and shows that attitudes can change.
As another saying goes, Where there is a will there is a way.
Dedicated to all nonhuman animals who live and die in captivity!
The term symbolises the diversity of races, tribes, creeds, languages and lifestyles of modern South Africa.
If you came to the Global March For Lions on Saturday March 21st you would agree that South Africa is indeed a rainbow nation. Every shape, size, age and colour of person was there, roaring for our precious lions.
The protest was held outside the Lion Park, as this park permits the petting of lion cubs, which in all likelihood are later sold for canned hunting. Read more @
But, I will let my collage of photos tell the story:
Of course conflict is part of South African life.
Protesters were met by a counter protest set up by the Lion Park management.
Without a doubt, we roared the loudest!
‘So adorable’, most would say and indeed they are – in the wild!
However, there is a huge canned hunting industry in South Africa.
Canned hunting is the despicable activity where wild animals, in this case lions, are poached or bred in captivity solely be shot in a confined space.
These lions, often white lions, can be part of a tourist “petting” attraction and through this become habituated to humans.
When these lions no longer have “use value” they are taken into a pen and shot by some rich tourist.
It is alleged that the Lion Park near Johannesburg (a huge tourist attraction) sells its lions for canned hunting. This is where our protest will be on Saturday.
SHAME ON SOUTH AFRICA: We are protesting against canned hunting in Johannesburg on March 21st 2015.
On March 13 and 14, people in cities around the world will once again bring awareness to the canned Lion hunting industry in South Africa. Last year was the first Global March For Lions (GMFL) and with 60 cities worldwide participating it was truly a historical moment, no gathering had previously raised awareness for Lions like the GMFL did.
“Last year’s Global March for Lions created unprecedented public awareness world-wide about the plight of the lion. It was really extraordinary. During my almost thirty years fighting for the lion, never before I had I seen such a public outpouring of concern for the King of Animals. It was so heartening, and is making a difference. With this year’s demo we must build on this. The lion needs us like never before.” – Gareth Patterson, Author of My Lion’s Heart.
How the average person contributes to the canned hunting industry
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I dedicate this Feel Free Friday post to Sam Simon who passed away on Sunday March 8th at the age of 59. As the co-founder of The Simpsons, Sam became rich and famous.
Towards the end of his life Sam was known among animal activists for his acts of compassion. Not only did Sam rescue hundreds of chinchillas from a fur farm (previous post @ https://emynow.wordpress.com/2014/08/21/a-compassionate-move-thank-you-sam-simon/ ) but he saved zoo and circus animals from a life of torment. He bought these captured animals and set them free to live in sanctuaries.
In his own words to the media:
“I have a desire to help animals”.
“The question of whether it makes financial sense, it’s my money and I get to do what I want with it. It’s an expensive hobby I picked up at the end of my life.”
So all I have to say is:
Sam, your time on this planet was too short.
You were rich and famous but you had a heart of gold.
Yes, you had lots of money but you could have spent it on furs and diamonds.
Instead, your acts of generosity and compassion enriched the lives of many vulnerable beings.
You tried to reduce the suffering that humans inflict on other species.
You were a wonderful example of humanity and humour and we will miss you.
You are now free of suffering but you will never be forgotten ❤
Rest in peace.
Dedicated to all nonhuman animals who live and die in captivity!
Namibia, a country on the West coast of Africa and bordering on South Africa, is known for its deep red sand dunes and rugged coast line. Sadly, every year the red intensifies on these dunes, from the blood of massacred Cape Fur seals – hence “fifty shades of red” (The Seals of Nam).
Despite numerous actions being taken against the Namibian government, Cape Fur seals continue to be bludgeoned to death.
According to the Namibian government, these marine mammals are killed to protect fish stocks. This, however, has been disproved by studies that have shown that the seal population on that coastline has no significant economic impact on the fishery industry.
Campaigners against this annual “cull” argue that the seals are killed in order to sell their fat and fur.
It is the seal pups who are beaten to death with spiked clubs for their soft fur. They are only a few months old when this happens.
The male seals are killed for their genitals, which are sold in Asia as an aphrodisiac.
The Seals of Nam, a South African organisation, campaigns against the senseless killing of seals in Namibia, for commercial purposes.
This organisation was founded by animal rights campaigner Pat Dickens in 2010 and is now extremely influential globally. The Seals of Nam collaborates internationally with other organisations that fight to conserve our oceans and all life that rightfully inhabit its waters.
The Seals of Nam has initiated many actions against the brutality inflicted on the Seals in Namibia and offers “logistical support” to like-minded organisations.
In its own words:
“We will continue to fight for an end of the Namibian hunt. We believe it to be unsustainable, illegal, immoral, uneconomical and a violation of human rights as well as basic animal welfare standards”.
For further information here is the Facebook link of The Seals of Nam https://www.facebook.com/TheSealsOfNam
Petitions that can be signed:
EVERY VOICE COUNTS
A demonstration was organised on February 28th 2015, in Johannesburg, by a fellow activist to make the point that the anti-fur movement will not stop.
He said this about Erich Fischer Furriers:
“Emy Wilhelm is appearing in court again on the 4th March, for supposedly damaging his property by putting an anti fur sticker on his door, this is to show Erich Fischer Furriers that if they think the anti-fur action is going to ‘go away’ because of their ridiculous action against one activist they should think again – this is a worldwide movement.
We wont be standing in the streets with placards, we will again take it to the door of his ‘Bloody Business’ as we did on Saturday 28th Feb 2015″.