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Animal Rights Activists Worldwide Protest Start of Dolphin Hunting Season in Japan

September 11, 2017 by Leave a Comment


The News

Animal rights activists in over 30 cities around the world marked the first day of Japan’s notorious dolphin hunting season with “International Day of Action” protests, an annual event organized by The Dolphin Project. In NYC, about two dozen activists demonstrated in front of the Japanese consulate in midtown Manhattan, educating locals and tourists about the atrocity and demanding that the Japanese government put a stop to it:

During the hunt, which lasts about six months, fleets of Japanese fishing boats surround pods of dolphins off the coast and drive them into an isolated cove in Taiji, Japan, where the dolphins are snatched from the water to be sold to aquariums or killed for their meat. “It’s a bloodbath during which families are torn apart and massacred. It’s nothing short of an act of terror,”  said Phyllis Ottomanelli “Captivity is the driving force behind the hunts. If you pay to swim with dolphins or see them in an aquarium, then you have blood on your hands.”

The hunt was largely unknown to the mainstream public until The Cove, a documentary thriller about the hunt and the heroic activists working to expose it, was released and won the 2010 Academy Award for best documentary film.

The Cove is an Oscar-winning documentary film about the annual dolphin hunt in Taiji, Japan

As the 2017 hunt began, advocates around the world took to social media to raise awareness.  Paul Watson, the founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society which has engaged in direct action in an attempt to stop the massacre, wrote “Since the early Sixties, an insidious trade of intelligent, self-aware, sentient beings has been growing like a malignant cancer within human society. It is a slave trade that has been the cause of unimaginable misery and has claimed the lives of thousands of dolphins. This cruel industry has spread across Europe and Asia with hundreds of marine aquariums operating, many of them with grossly inadequate facilities.”

On September 1st, animal rights activists in over 30 cities around the world protested the Japan’s annual dolphin hunt.

The dolphins are slaughtered by “pithing” – stabbing them behind their blowholes with a metal rod. This method severs the spinal cord, paralyzing the dolphins and supposedly causing a rapid death. Often, however, the death is prolonged. In 2011 AtlanticBlue, a German conservation group, documented a dolphin moving for over four minutes after pithing. Activists with The Dolphin Project and Sea Shepherd have witnessed dolphins drown while being dragged by their tails to the butcher house.

The cove turns red with blood during the annual dolphin hunt in Taiji, Japan.

Kim Danoff, a Virginia-based veterinarian and animal rights activist told TheirTurn that babies often watch their parents being killed before themselves dying from stress or starvation: “We must continue to fight until Japan outlaws the trade and massacre of wild dolphins.”

Your Turn

To learn more about Japan’s annual dolphin hunt and to find out how you can help, please visit The Dolphin Project.


Over 2,500 Activists Stage Historic March for Animal Liberation in NYC

September 6, 2017 by Leave a Comment


The News

On September 2nd, animal rights activists took to the streets of Manhattan to participate in an historic march for animal rights.  According to the grass roots organizers, the purpose of the march was “to raise awareness about the billions of animals who we needlessly exploit and kill each year” for food, clothing, entertainment and experimentation and “to oppose the mass animal oppression occurring every day around the world.”

Activists from all over the country traveled to NYC to participate in the march. Bob Ingersoll, a veteran animal rights activist who was the subject of the award-winning documentary film Project Nim, told TheirTurn, “This March will be one of the historically critical events in the effort to secure justice for all sentient beings, to end the use of animals as commodities, and recognize their equal right to live their lives free of human control and manipulation. That’s why I’m here in New York City, where the world is paying attention!”

Philly Stallone raps for 2,500 people at the rally before the NYC Animal Rights March

Simultaneous marches took place in Los Angeles, Miami, Houston, Romania and London, which attracted over 5,000 participants:

Organizers of an animal rights march in Israel scheduled on September 9th expect 30,000 participants.


Animal Rights Activists Disrupt Exclusive Pig Roast Event in Washington, D.C.

August 8, 2017 by 3 comments


The News

Dozens of animal rights activists disrupted a event celebrating pig consumption at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. According to organizers, Cochon555 is “a nose-to-tail culinary tour dedicated to . . . educating chefs and diners about the agricultural importance of utilizing Old World livestock.” The event is held in 14 cities around the country. “Cochon” is French for pig.

“Cochon555 is working to make people feel good about eating meat by perpetuating the myth that animals can be slaughtered humanely,” said Amanda Houdeschell, one of the organizers of the protest. “It’s a fraud, and it’s giving people who might otherwise abstain from eating animals a free pass to turn a blind eye to the horrors inflicted on them.”

Cochone555 guests appear to be amused by the disruption. Activists speculate that, for many, nervous laughter was a defense mechanism.

Several minutes into the disruption, Cochon555 organizers turned off the lights in the hotel ballroom and turned up the volume on the music in an effort to drown out the protesters. While many of the guests at the carnivorous event appeared to be amused by the disruption, organizers were visibly jarred.  As protesters exited the hotel, one Cochon555 representative attempted to justify the pig festival to the activists: “No matter if you think it’s murder or whatever, we’re still honoring a product that is bred by breeders with their wholehearted integrity.” In response to his assertion that the pigs are “treated just like your kids,” TheirTurn’s Donny Moss asked, “Do we slaughter our children?”

One of hundreds of individuals killed and dismembered during Cochon555 tour


Protesters Demonstrate at NYC Pet Store Exposed for Abusing Animals

August 2, 2017 by 7 comments


The News

Just days after the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) released video footage of pet shop employees abusing and neglecting puppies, over 50 animal rights activists and local area residents staged a protest at the store, Chelsea Kennel Club. NY Animal Defenders, the grass roots group that organized the protest, said that the video taken by an undercover investigator at HSUS “shows violence toward and rough handling of young puppies, neglect of sick animals, failure to disclose illnesses to customers, and other shameful behavior.”

NY Animal Defenders said the purpose of the protest was to demand an immediate investigation into the businesses of Dana Derragh, who owns several pet stores in NYC, and for the immediate closure of Chelsea Kennel Club. Participants also used the protest as an opportunity to inform neighbors about the abuses taking place inside and to encourage the public to adopt dogs instead of buying them from pet shops, which sell puppy mill dogs.

Animal rights activists march through Chelsea to educate area residents about the abuses uncovered at Chelsea Kennel Club, a pet store that sells puppy mill dogs

“This is what happens when profit is placed ahead of animal rescue and welfare efforts – abuse, cutting corners to save pennies, and lying to customers,” said Leo Nardo of NY Animal Defenders. “Instead of buying an animal companion, New Yorkers should adopt at one of the city’s many animal shelters, which are full of dogs and cats who desperately need a home.”

Animal rights activists demand that NYC shut down Chelsea Kennel Club after video showing abuses is released by HSUS

A day before the protest, several activists entered the store to confront the owner and inform unsuspecting customers about the abuses.

Animal rights activists disrupt business at Chelsea Kennel Club, a pet shop caught on camera abusing animals


Watch What Happens When Pedestrians are Offered $1 to Watch Video

July 28, 2017 by Leave a Comment


The News

Pedestrians lined up in NYC’s Union Square to watch a four minute video in exchange for $1, but many were so profoundly affected by what they saw that they declined to take their reward and instead engaged with the advocates on hand about transitioning to a vegan diet.

The “pay-per-view” event, organized by the 12,500 member NYC Vegetarian and Vegan Meetup Group, aims to expose New Yorkers to the cruelty of animal agriculture and help them transition to a healthier and more environmentally friendly plant-based diet. TheirTurn interviewed people who were willing to speak on camera about if and how the video, “Ten Billion Lives” (see below), would affect their behavior.

“One of the biggest challenges we face as advocates in our day-to-day lives is convincing people to watch footage of industrialized animal agriculture and slaughter,” said David Greene, who runs NYC Vegetarian and Vegan Meetup Group. “The ‘Pay-Per-View’ approach helps us overcome that obstacle and provides us with a platform to engage with a captive audience about making more compassionate choices.”

Activist Joyce Friedman conducts vegan outreach with a woman who was disturbed by the farm animal abuse in the video.

Here is the 4 minute video that the pedestrians were paid to watch:

Your Turn

If you live in the NYC tri-state area and would like to participate in pay-per-view events, other forms of vegan outreach or social events, please visit NYC Vegetarian and Vegan Meetup Group.