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#FeelFreeFriday ~ 55


Protest action works

Accolades to Nicole van Gemert of the Dutch anti-fur group Bont Voor Dieren!

This week, after an appeal in January 2015, the appeal court has upheld the mink fur farming ban in the Netherlands. The Netherlands has been the third-largest producer of mink fur after Denmark and China, so millions of minks will be spared from a life of torture.

It has been a turbulent journey, which I have tracked since 2012

Read more:



December 2012, the Dutch senate passed a ban on mink farming, largely due to investigations done by Bont Voor Dieren that revealed appalling conditions on fur farms. The aim was to phase out mink farming over ten years.

 As the Dutch fur farmers were not offered any compensation for loss of income, in May 2014 this ban was reversed. 

In the words of Nicole van Gemert,

‘Ever since our foundation, Bont voor Dieren has put up a battle against the Dutch mink breeders. We have had to endure some major setbacks, the overturn of the mink ban last year being the absolute low point. But perseverance kills the game: not only is the mink ban back in force, all expansions of mink farms carried out since the ban was announced are now illegal.’





Feel Free Friday posts are meant to be uplifting, so I will spare you the details of the despicable bear bile farming that is rife throughout Asia.

The Asian Black Bears, also named Moon Bears because of the crescent mark on the chest, are primarily exploited in this industry.  

Asian Black bear - moon bear

Moon Bear

This post is dedicated to all the people who tirelessly campaign to rescue some of these thousands of bears from their lives of torture.                                                      

Are they here yet

Photo credit: Animals Asia

Animals Asia has rescued more than 100 bears who now live in peace on a sanctuary in Vietnam.

Read more about this campaign @


Have tissues on hand, as it is a deeply moving story.                  

Ti Map,

Ti Map – a bear rescued from bile farming – who felt grass for the first time in 14 years.                                                                                                                     Photo credit: Animals Asia

Recently Animals Asia won the fight to release the Halong Bay Bears. To date only two bears, Sam and Simon, have arrived at the sanctuary.

Read about the rescue here: http://bit.ly/1dI3ti1

Although this is a handful of the thousands of bears used for bile farming, it has raised awareness worldwide.

Feel free to support this campaign in any way that you can.

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. sand duneSadly, 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).

Seals of NamDespite 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.                 

Newborn Cape seal pup

                  PLEASE BE MY VOICE

The male seals are killed for their genitals, which are sold in Asia as an aphrodisiac.                                                                                                             clubbing seals 

The Seals of Nam, a South African organisation, campaigns against the senseless killing of seals in Namibia, for commercial purposes. 

seals of Nam 1

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:




harp seal 1

                                         PLEASE BE MY VOICE




The witness

Free online viewing! http://www.tribeofheart.org/screeningroom 

Last Sunday I was invited by a group of animal loving people to watch the documentary The Witness ~ one man’s emotional journey to becoming an animal activist, particularly around the despicable fur industry. It was comforting to view this moving documentary with others who cared – the circulating tissues were indeed reassuring. 

Before presenting the background to The Witness, I would like to share some thoughts that were raised on Sunday.

One task of an activist is to make others conscious about the ethics of an issue. Surely, though, being aware is not enough? It is one’s conscience that ultimately drives us to try and change an injustice. 

According to Wikipedia:

  • Consciousness is the state of being aware of an external object or something within oneself. It has been defined as: sentienceawarenesssubjectivity, the ability to experience or to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of selfhood, and the executive control system of the mind.
  • Conscience is defined as an aptitudefacultyintuition or judgment that assists in distinguishing right from wrong. Moral judgment may derive from values or norms. In psychological terms conscience is often described as leading to feelings of remorse when a human commits actions that go against his/her moral values and to feelings of rectitude or integrity when actions conform to such values.

The topic of vivisection came up and we wondered how people could torture animals in the name of science. It struck me that the word conscience is con – science i.e. against science. Those who commit atrocities in the name of science are rewarded for having no conscience. They lack compassion and justify their actions by stating that animals are not sentient beings. In this way these scientists can disconnect from the pain they inflict onto animals in the name of (hu)mankind. (Hu)man kind??

Now, back to Eddie Lama, the man who became conscious and then acted on his conscience.

eddie Lama

Eddie was a construction contractor, from tough Brooklyn, who transformed into an animal advocate. Eddie is probably the last person one would expect to be an animal activist, as he was raised with an ingrained aversion to animals. ‘Eddie avoided animals for most of his life, until the love of a kitten opened his heart, inspiring him to rescue abandoned animals and bring his message of compassion to the streets of New York’. With humor and sincerity, in the award-winning documentary, THE WITNESS (43 minutes), Eddie tells the story of his remarkable shift in consciousness (http://www.tribeofheart.org/sr/sr_witscreeningroom_english.htm).

This documentary exposes the horror of factory farming, trapping and farming wild animals for their fur.

It is truly inspirational and well worth watching!

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