Sydney Seafood Store Convicted of Animal Cruelty for Inhumane Treatment of Lobsters

GR:  I find it delightful that law protects these sentient creatures from cruelty. Let this idea spread and it will transform our society into a much happier, stable, sustainable civilization.

“A popular seafood store in Sydney, Australia, was charged with animal cruelty for its treatment of lobsters, resulting in the first animal cruelty conviction in New South Wales (NSW) involving crustaceans. In both the U.S. and Australia, no matter how horrendously they are treated, it is rare for criminal cruelty charges to be brought in cases involving animals who are considered “food.” This is especially true when those animals are non-vertebrates, making this case particularly notable.

“The conviction of Nicholas Seafood resulted from an inspection by the NSW Royal Society for the Prevention of Animals (RSPCA) after it obtained video showing a worker butchering a lobster alive with no attempt to render the animal unconscious beforehand, in violation of NSW’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. The video shows a lobster struggling to escape during the dismembering process, remaining alive after the animal’s tail is cut off—which according to the RSCPA does not kill but causes immense pain—and before being put through a band saw.

“The RSPCA issued a fine, but Nicholas Seafood decided to take the matter to court, resulting in the conviction of an Act of Animal Cruelty and a $1,500 fine. The company has said its staff have now been properly trained to kill the lobsters in a manner considered “humane” according to government guidelines.

“Whether crustaceans are covered under animal cruelty laws depends on how the specific legislation defines “animal.” There is no national animal protection law in Australia, but each state or territory has its own law protecting animals. Some restrict the definition of animal to vertebrates, but others, including NSW, include crustaceans in that definition. Crustaceans were added to NSW’s Prevention of Animal Cruelty Act in 1997 “after it was medically proven they feel pain.” In contrast to the vertebrate species included in the law, crustaceans are only covered when being prepared as food.” –Nicole Pallotta (Continue reading:  Sydney Seafood Store Convicted of Animal Cruelty for Inhumane Treatment of Lobsters | Animal Legal Defense Fund.)

Lost Animals–Garry Rogers Goodreads Comment

Lost Animals: Extinction and the Photographic RecordLost Animals: Extinction and the Photographic Record by Errol Fuller

Garry Rogers rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was hard to read. As you pass from one tragedy to the next, you gather sadness like a rolling ball gathers snow. More than a simple chronicle, there is deep concern here. I recommend it.

View all my ratings/reviews

Members of Congress challenge merit of NIH monkey experiments

by Samantha Schmieder:  Four members of Congress have expressed concerns about experiments on infant monkeys taking place at a National Institutes of Health lab in Poolesville.

In a letter to NIH director Dr. Francis Collins, dated Dec. 22, 2014, representatives Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), Dina Titus (D-Nev.), Sam Farr (D-Calif.) and Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said constituents contacted them in response to media accounts of the tests, including a campaign by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.  Source:

GR:  Respect for animals is an essential element of nature conservation.  Moreover, results of drug trials on one species often don’t apply to other species.  Test human drugs on humans.  First choice for volunteers would be CEOs and product managers from the drug maker.

National Park Service: Relocate Yellowstone’s “Excess” Bison Instead of Killing Them

Jan 22, 2015:  Read the latest news on this story:  The slaughter starts.

Dear NPS,
Please understand that the majority of U.S. citizens do not wish for any of our Yellowstone bison to be taken to slaughter.  Something that has not been mentioned in this controversy is that the super-volcano underneath the state of Wyoming has been rising at a record rate since 2004.  Its floor has gone up three inches per year for the last three years indicating the fastest rate since records began in 1923.  It’s certainly possible that animals as intelligent and instinctual as bison are noticing the changes in their environment and exhibiting the same instinctual behavior as the elephants and other animals did prior to the tsunami in the Indian Ocean.  According to National Geographic:
• Elephants screamed and ran for higher ground.
• Flamingos abandoned their low-lying breeding areas.
• Zoo animals rushed into their shelters and could not be enticed to come back out.  Yellowstone bison could very well be trying to escape impending death by following ancient migration corridors out of the area.


GR:  The great war between humans and wildlife is generally invisible.  We build on, dump on, and step on wildlife and their homes in unconscious pursuits.  When we can see, as in the case of Bison, it is imperative that we act responsibly and accept our species’ role as nature’s only possible defender.  Please sign.

10,000 Elephants : Poaching Crisis Out Of Control

10,000 elephants…that’s how many elephants have been slaughtered in just one African nation in 2013 to feed China’s greed and ivory lust. That’s nearly 30 elephants killed each day. According to the EIA (Environmental Investigation Agency), Tanzania…


This article includes ways to get involved.

New research could help the welfare of working animals

Domestic Animal Welfare

With over 42 million horses and 95 per cent of the world’s donkeys found in developing countries, new research could change the health and welfare of millions of working animals in some of the poorest parts of the world.

 The three research studies led by Dr Becky Whay, Reader in Animal Welfare and Behaviour in the School of Veterinary Sciences at the University of Bristol, aim to build greater understanding and encourage collaboration in addressing the welfare problems of the world’s working equids. The papers, funded by the Brooke, are part of a new collection of free research articles published online by the Equine Veterinary Journal (EVJ) and sponsored by World Horse Welfare.

“We hope our research will make a difference to the lives of these animals and our work will advise owners and vets on how to better look after their animals.”


GR:  The scientific method in all its variations is a tool that humans can use to care for their fellow creatures.  Research using the method produces reliable reports that add to our knowledge.

The Story of Chinchillas in 20 Photos

“To celebrate the excellent news that Sweden’s last chinchilla fur farm has just been closed down, we decided to take a closer look at these sweet animals – and how they suffer at the hands of the global fur trade.”


GR:  We should be restoring and protecting chinchilla habitat instead of killing and wearing chinchilla skins like the scalps of a defeated enemy.  Show your support for ending fashion fur.

50 Cruelty-Free Companies

Animal cruelty is the extreme measure of human disrespect for other sentient beings. Environmental pollution, mass extinction, and failed land-use management are consequences of our disrespect.

The Friendly Fig

Thousands and thousands of brands test their products on innocent animals. Yes, this is a reality, and we are all aware. But have you ever really stopped and thought about it? I do… all the time. If you think about it enough, it will make you sick. If you’ve looked at the pictures, you have already experienced this, I’m sure.

The worst part? Animal testing does not help humans! How could we test on a being that is not ours to test on, for no reason at all? There are other ways to test, so it is time to take a stand against animal testing, and cruelty as a whole.

Shopping cruelty-free does not have to be expensive, either. Just like all cosmetics and products, there are inexpensive and high-end brands. The key is doing the thorough research to find a product that is within your budget. There are…

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Developing a Taste for Animal Rights: For Our Health, for Our Planet, for Our Future

There is no greater example of inequality than the question of animal rights and our diet choices. When will we stop eating animals?


GR:  This post’s title suggest that we should care about animals is for our benefit.  But it’s more than that.  Human respect for animal rights is increasing.  Once, the only argument against raising animals for food was that eating plants instead of animals was the most economical and efficient means to feed the growing human population. Developing respect for other species has much broader significance. As Aldo Leopold and others have said, we can only fulfill our role as ethical beings if we learn to respect other species.  I believe that such respect is a sign of sapience.

Human Impact: Artificial Light Disrupts Sex Hormones of Birds

GR:  Artificial light contributes to wildlife decline. Harmful human impacts also come from habitat loss, invasive species, toxic waste, pesticides, hunting, livestock grazing, water diversion, logging, mining, hiking, sound, and more. The growing impact of our seven billion mouths to feed and seats to sit overwhelms every little improvement we make. For a well-documented survey, I recommend Goudie’s “The Human Impact.”

The following by  Jane Kay, Environmental Health News 

2014 1004 night fw“San Francisco at night. (Photo: Niyantha Shekar)

“San Francisco – High on bluffs overlooking the Pacific, Dominik Mosur was strolling along at 2 a.m. searching for owls. Darkness enveloped the Presidio, a historic military encampment turned national park, as Mosur made his way through cypress-scented fog.

“Alert in the mist as he cut through a forest, Mosur listened for the hoot of the great horned owl. Instead, he heard the singing of a bird that should have been asleep in its nest until dawn. The Nuttall’s white crowned sparrow was throbbing away with its distinctive zu-zee trill.

“To this day, Mosur wonders whether the bright street lamps, 50 feet from the songbird’s territory, caused its odd nocturnal behavior, which usually is limited to moonlit nights along this part of the coast.

“Mosur puzzled over the toll that the nighttime singing was taking on the songbird: Would it have the energy in the morning to defend its territory, attract a mate and raise its young?

“Around the world, scientists seeking to answer that question have gathered mounting evidence that city lights are altering the basic physiology of urban birds, suppressing their estrogen and testosterone and changing their singing, mating and feeding behaviors. One lab experiment showed that male blackbirds did not develop reproductive organs during the second year of exposure to continuous light at night.

“Streetlights, shopping centers, stadiums and houses turn night into day, a phenomenon that scientists call “loss of night.”

“Birds are particularly sensitive to light and different chemical interventions. If you see these deleterious effects in the birds, you’re likely to see them in humans in short-order. The smart thing to do is to pay attention to avian life,” said Vincent Cassone, whose University of Kentucky lab examines neuroendocrine systems of birds and mammals.

“People can suffer an array of health problems when they work night shifts that alter their circadian, or daily, cycles governed by a biological clock. In the wild, light pollution causes hatchling sea turtles to lose their way from beach to the ocean, and disorients Monarch butterflies searching for migration routes. In field experiments, Atlantic salmon swim at odd times, and frogs stop mating under skies glowing from stadium lights at football games. Millions of birds die from collisions with brightly lit communication towers, and migratory flocks are confused by signals gone awry.

“More recently, researchers have documented an earlier dawn chorus, which influences mate selection, feeding and interplay among species. At a deeper, molecular level, the changes in birds’ hormones raise questions about their reproductive fitness and the potential for ecological and evolutionary consequences.

2014 1004 night 4“Western scrub-jays were used in an experiment that showed sex hormones were altered by artificial light at night. (Photo: Francesco Veronesi)

“Under light at night, something gets broken and you see a dampening of their hormonal system,” said University of Memphis biology professor Stephan Schoech, who found hormone changes in western scrub-jays.”

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