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In Daring Public Action, Animal Rights Activists Liberate Innocent Death Row Prisoners

May 13, 2015 by Leave a Comment


The News

On May 8th, animal rights activists in Dublin, Ireland, liberated nine lobsters from a Chinese restaurant and released them into their natural habitat, giving them the chance to live and generating widespread media attention about the cruelty of boiling live animals.

Animal rights activists scoop lobsters out of small tank in Dublin restaurant

Animal rights activists scoop lobsters out of small tank in Dublin restaurant

Activists remove rubber bands from lobster claws before releasing them into the sea. (photo: NARA)

Activists remove rubber bands from lobster claws before releasing them into the sea. (photo: NARA)

In an interview with BBC, the founder of the National Animal Rights Association (NARA), Laura Broxson, said that the activists were motivated by compassion in what was a “life or death” situation for the lobsters: “They were free and had the chance to live, rather than facing certain death by being boiled alive.”

By intentionally revealing their faces while filming the liberation (“Open Rescue”), the participants could face legal consequences, a risk that some activists take in order to show the public that they are regular, relatable people, not the mask-wearing “terrorists” portrayed in the media. The real terrorists, they argue, are those who exploit and kill animals, not those who rescue them from egregious abuse and imminent death.

In January, activists with London Vegan Actions used a different approach to advocate for lobsters – staging a loud disruption on their behalf inside of a restaurant that serves them at multiple locations. Using a megaphone, they chanted, “If you want to get some peace, make the lobster torture cease.” After being aggressively ejected from the restaurant by staff, the activists continued to chant through the bullhorn at the restaurant’s entrance.

In the United States alone, more than 20 million lobsters are consumed each year. The unthinkable end of lobsters’ lives – being boiled or torn apart while still alive – often overshadows the horrific journey they take from the ocean to the kitchen. After being caught in traps and dragged out of their homes onto boats, lobsters are transferred into restaurant or grocery store tanks where they suffer from hunger, low oxygen level, stress, confinement and overcrowding. Scientists have proven that lobsters suffer.

lobster cartoon

Rina Deych, a New York City-based activist who has spoken out against home delivery of live lobsters said, “We are quick to demonize people in other cultures for boiling puppies and kittens alive, yet in our society, people think nothing of dropping a sentient creature of another species into a pot of boiling water.”

In 2008, an Australian apparel company called Just Jeans produced a provocative commercial in which customers in Chinese restaurant make a spur of the moment decision to empty the lobster tank and release the animals into the ocean.

The Dublin liberation was conducted by the National Animal Rights Association, Direct Action for Animals and The Alliance for Animal Rights.


Filed under: Food, Victories
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Chicago Bans Sale of Commercially bred Dogs, Cats & Rabbits

March 5, 2014 by Leave a Comment


The News

According to the Chicago Tribune, the City Council today voted 49-1 to ban the sale of commercially bred dogs, cats and rabbits in Chicago. According to a City clerk, the law “cuts off a pipeline of the animals coming from the horrendous puppy mill industry and instead moves us towards a retail pet sales model that focuses on adopting out the many, many homeless animals [from shelters and rescues] in need of loving homes in this city.” Chicago joins Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix and many other U.S. cities have already instituted a ban. In January, New York state passed a law giving local municipalities the power to impose their own regulations on pet sales, according to the Daily News. The NYC Council has since introduced a bill that would prevent city pet stores from buying cats and dogs from unlicensed breeders.

puppymill

News & Opinion

Until every homeless animal in a shelter or at a rescue finds a forever home, we must continue to lobby for the passage of laws banning the sale of companion animals from commercial breeding operations. And, even then, we must always fight for the closure of puppy mills, which are cruel and dangerous businesses that treat animals like commodities. To anyone working in animal rescue, the “kill lists” are a daily reminder of the crisis of overpopulation and the importance of adoption and animal birth control. If helping homeless animals is important to you, please consider volunteering at a local shelter, helping place animals in foster homes, lobbying for laws banning the sale of commercially bred animals, and, of course, encouraging people to adopt, not shop.


Filed under: Companion Animals, Victories
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Strays of Sochi Shine a Light of Plight of Homeless Animals

February 5, 2014 by Leave a Comment


The News

After the Russian government hired a pest control company to slaughter the stray dogs of Sochi in advance of the Olympics, a Russian billionaire donated funds to build a makeshift shelter to save as many as possible. According to the NY Times, “local animal rights workers say many of the strays were pets, or the offspring of pets, abandoned by families whose homes with yards were demolished over the past few years to make way for the Olympic venues.”

Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

News & Opinion

The round up and slaughter of strays in Sochi shined a light on the plight of homeless animals around the world and the taxing and unending job of rescuers to save them.  All of us can help by promoting adoption and animal birth control, by volunteering at local shelters and by using our social networks to help find forever homes for homeless animals.


Filed under: Companion Animals
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