Category Archives: Factory Farming

Cruelties of factory farming

Weekend Movie Choice: Food, Inc.

Movie choice: Food, Inc. (Credit to the woman of myanimalfamily)

Food, Inc.

Available at a GV screen near you, a movie generates food for thought.

If you don’t regurgitate and think about food after watching this, then you’re probably a card-carrying Darla-head who would watch Finding Nemo and made Nemo’s nightmare by joining the hordes who stampeded the aquariums demanding for a Nemo of your own, missing the reef for the polyp, totally.

Click on the title above to visit the official site for the trailer, more info about the movie, the issues, and take action!

Now if Animal Planet will premiere Whale Wars here, my weekend is complete. (Season 2 has already broken US viewership records for cetacean’s sake!)

Additional Ref related to Food, Inc:

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Bear bile farms beyond China: Korea and Vietnam

Though China is where their work started, Animalsasia.org runs bear bile farm victim rescue efforts in Vietnam too.

But these are not the only 2 countries that engage in the cruel and inhumane practice of bear bile farming. Nor are their citizens the only consumers of bear bile and other bear products. The biggest buyers of bear bile are Koreans and Japanese.

Please help Korea's Moon BearsKorea itself has bear bile farms, with the same cruelty and inhumanity. But the Korean bear victims are not without friends either.

If you can, please read the news section on moonbears.org. There is a poignant entry under the March 2008 header: Brutality and Horror, the shame of South Korea 2008. (Includes graphic imagery). I wanted to add a picture of dead newborn cubs killed by adults or starvation lined up just so, looking like shrivelled kidney beans to illustrate the cruelty. But I will it to those who are willing to SEE and understand to click on the news section url.

To people who refuse to look at images, the cruelty of bear bile farming may not be coming across as intensely as it should. Perhaps, the word ‘farm’ brings to mind too much misconceived notions of benevolence of farms of old and that damn nursery rhyme. To remove these mental cataracts, may this  text-only eye-witness account serve to convey the message without the graphical images. Remember, when you read or see a graphical description, you are only affected mentally and temporarily. But the reality is endured DAILY by the bears on bear bile farms.

(emphasis mine)

The cruelty of sucking gallbladder juice (bile) from live bears in China

World Journal, Wednesday, April 15, 1998
(By Youn Show Lee; translated by Vicky Ho Lynn from the Chinese)

“The cruelty of sucking gallbladder juice from live bears in China”

A few months ago while on a business trip, I had a chance to visit Angel Bridge at the foot of Long Day Mountain in China. At that time, we also went to explore a large bear farm which is surrounded by forest and beautiful scenery — it is truly an isolated paradise. All of sudden I saw about fifteen large cages with bears in them. The farm owner told me this is a gallbladder farm, the purpose of which is to continuously extract fluid from the bears’ gallbladders. Because of the high demand, it is an extremely profitable business.

When we arrived at the farm, the bears and the caretaker seemed to be getting along very well, all was calm. Suddenly four huge men showed up and the bears suddenly started screaming fearfully and rocking their cages hard as if they saw a ghost. The caretaker told me every morning at eight o’clock liquid is drawn from their gallbladders. Around seven-forty-five, the bears become agitated and have no appetite to eat and they start screaming and crying desperately for help.

In white uniforms, and without any emotion on their faces, the four men went into one of the cages. They quickly used a steel wire to snatch the bear by the neck, at which point the bear’s eyes bulged out and it started gnashing its teeth and crying. They are so scared to death and this trauma causes them to defecate at the same time.

In the bear’s stomach, there is a hole with a steel tube inserted directly into the gallbladder. Outside the area there is a plastic tube connected to the steel tube for drawing the liquid. The area is covered tightly with surgical tape. When the time comes, the tape and cover are removed and a syringe is used to withdraw the green liquid from the gallbladder. Three big men went in and pressed bear’s 4 legs with force and inserted a syringe into plastic tube. When the dark green gallbladder juice was sucked from bear’s body, the poor bear opened her mouth so big, her two eyes were bulging and her entire body was trembling so hard throughout the whole procedure.

This kind of severe torturing went on for about two hours until all the bears had been subjected to the same torture. The crying and screaming was so hard and loud and echoed the entire mountain and valley. It frightened me so much, my heart ached and my head started spinning.

After this unthinkable torture, the bears used their paws to hold their stomachs. They curled up and shivered and I could see tears in their bright little eyes…

Around 10:30, someone cried out that there had been an accident in cage number 5. We followed the owner to rush into the bear farm and were shocked at what we saw. A brown bear had managed to pull out his own intestines and was holding them up in the air, roaring and screaming, as if he were madly “protesting” the cruelty and insanity of the humans. There was blood all over the cage. It was so difficult to watch such a suicidal scene. Never in my life had I been in such shock or so devastated. At that time, someone rang the security alarm, immediately people rushed into the bear farm and waving the sharp ax and big steel hook. The owner shouted :”Hurry to ‘rescue’ the bear paws!” The man in the cage was reluctant to continue to go forward. But the owner stamped his feet and kept yelling: “You have to cut them off while the bear is alive. That is the only way they are saleable!” Right after that, I saw the sharp ax swung and the number 5 bear’s paws were immediately chopped off with blood gushing out…..

Perhaps the killing smell filled in the cage number 5. The other bears then suddenly started to cry and scream sadly and desperately again and had the tendency to be violent. It shook the whole island. The farm owner had a butcher background. When the bears appeared ready to act violently and workers were panicking and running away, the owner stopped them and ordered them to put “steel jackets” on five of the most aggressive bears and give them a shot of morphine. As soon as the bears saw the “steel jackets”, they immediately became quiet. It seemed the bears all got the painful lessons from the “steel jackets”, otherwise they would not calm down so quickly.

This whole unbelievable incident affected me so deeply that their sad and innocent faces haunted me day and night and will continue to haunt me until the day I die. I felt a strong need to expose this incident to the world. Please widely distribute this true story and hope that everyone who reads this will do something to stop this kind of insanity from Chinese bear farms and to help these desperate poor creatures. Definitely, the Chinese Animals protection law needs to be improved, urgently.

Reference: Vicky Ho Lynn, founder of “Asians for Humans, Animals & Nature(AHAN)”.

email address: AHAN@worldnet.att.net
Tel: 415-379-9937 , Fax: 415-379-9938
Address: 3739 Balboa Street, Suite 228
San Francisco, CA 94121 U.S.A.

Copies of the article in Chinese may be obtained by contacting Ms. Lynn

Reprinted from:
Rudi4Animals/action4.html

Bear bile victims in the north and east of Asia are mostly, but not limited to, native moon bears (which is why I highlighted “brown bear” in red in the article to illustrate). While we talk about bears, we can’t forget that there are other bears victimised by humanity too. Closer to home, I would like to remind everybody again, please do not forget the sunbears of Borneo.

From polar bears to the farmed moon bears of Asia, ALL bear species are threatened or endangered. Even if they are not, there is no call to abuse and exploit them the way humans have been doing. Remember the bears, and their unbearable future that humans have forced upon them, because it doesn’t have to be so hopeless – SPEAK UP.

‘Mad scientists’ prove pet fish have more on the ball than we thought

Yes, fish apparently learn faster than poochie too.



Isaac Newton, a betta fish, swims through a hoop at Fish School. It will get a piece of food as a reward.
Click photo for larger image.
Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.

Teach a fish to play football and … well, now you really could be on to something.

A Pine man and his son have trained a pet goldfish to “carry” a football, “shoot” a soccer ball into a net, even “dance” the limbo.

If you don’t believe it, you can check out photos and videos at the Web site they’ve launched, www.fish-school.com.

(read full article)

To what end? I’m heartened to read that it’s not to start that bastion of cruelty… a scaly circus:

Mr. Pomerleau, who doesn’t expect to give up his day job, says, “It’s been a fun project for the two of us,” but it’s not just frivolous. He’s a longtime vegan who doesn’t eat any animal products. Kyle now doesn’t eat fish.

They both believe that helping show that fish are sentient might help convince people to treat them better, a goal shared by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal’s Fish Empathy Project.

It bothers Kyle, too, that, “People fish for fun. They don’t even necessarily eat them.”

(read full article)

I just hope this didn’t spark off another pet fad, abandoning pet fish is just as cruel as abandoning pet furries. Got this off here: fishinghurts.com, which also has these interesting articles:

“Peace” – A Symbol Of Shame

Shin the mal-treated husky in Singapore had definitely suffered, but for him there is now a silver lining in the end to his 5 years of suffering.

Compared to what he has gone through, the suffering the moon bears of China endure are unimaginable mind-bogglers.

As I learnt more about bear bile farming, my already soft spot for bears just got even more tender. Knowing that they are needed alive to provide a continuous supply of bile on the tap, and so aren’t killed, unlike the animals who end up in China’s animal death camps doesn’t alleviate the ache I feel for them: their existence makes death a much preferable alternative.

btmao and I follow AnimalsAsia‘s work whenever we can. In their latest effort, emerged the story of one of these bears, or the nearest he came to rescue… unfortunately, Peace will never know caring touches, the sensation of being able to stand normally or feel grass under his feet because he died ignominiously, en-route from the hellhole bear farm he was rescued from, to the sanctuary AnimalsAsia run in Chengdu.

The AnimalsAsia blog has a poignant entry on Peace. Unfortunately, Peace’s plight is not unique. The horror is how common it is.

“Peace” – a symbol of shame

It’s been a frantic and heartbreaking day for everyone here on site, but just quickly, more bad news I’m afraid. Two more beautiful bears have died today, one we euthanised to put him out of his agony, the other simply couldn’t hold on any longer – and who could blame him?

I’ll bring you more details as soon as I have a moment, but for now let me share with you this beautiful tribute to “Peace”, the poor bear that was delivered to us dead last night. It was written by our Veterinary Consultant, Dr Kati Loeffler. Where she found the time, I don’t know, because she and the rest of the team have literally been working non-stop.

Peace, whose skeletal, necrotic paw – literally rotting away – is pictured below, had been left to wither away on the farm with no water and no food, clearly no longer producing bile, so no longer of use. Here are Kati’s words:

Peace was an Asiatic black bear who died on the truck from the bile farm to the AAF sanctuary. He lay crunched into the tiny coffin cage, his emaciated head propped against one end and his right arm flung through the bars as though in a final plea for someone to end his suffering.

His body was more emaciated than one would believe possible to have still been alive. His eyes were sunken deep into the skull, small and lifeless and jaundiced. The right hind paw was stripped of flesh, revealing the skeleton of toes and the rotten, leathered skin crumpled over the end like a sock trying to come off. Deep gouges into the tissue of his right forepaw suggested that Peace may have tried to chew off his flesh to detract from the agony of his body.

On opening the abdomen, the veterinary team found the liver abused with cancer, the lining of the gall bladder cobbled and angry with polyps, the bile thick from dehydration and starvation, the tissue jaundiced from liver failure, and bile leaking into the abdominal cavity. This bear had suffered unconscionable agonies. His final plea drowned in the rattle of a diesel truck that did not deliver him in time to know the only succor he may have ever received.

Preceding this post on Peace, was this blog post, which described the circumstances of the rescue operation, that almost liberated Peace. But 26 others are now at the sanctuary because of this operation, hopefully able to live a life more peaceful and dignified.

The rescue begins … 28 bears arrive

It is so hard to know how to start. Yesterday when we knew more bears were on their way to our China sanctuary, we were realistic enough to know that some would be in very poor shape and in urgent need of medical attention, but we also allowed ourselves to feel some excitement and hope. We had to.

Nothing had prepared us for what we were about to witness. The anguish and despair on the faces of these poor souls will haunt me forever. The terror, the agony in the harrowing looks that greeted us as the team gently lifted their cages from the backs of the trucks. These majestic animals had been drained of all hope, their lives lived in the absence of all decency…

I watched as the bear workers poured their grief and horror into their physical labour. These fine Sichuan men, eight to a cage, with eyes straight ahead and metal lifting-bars grinding into their shoulders, are the pall-bearers of the living dead. I watched as the vet and bear team bravely blank out their pain, clearly stunned by the level of atrocity, but determinedly professional, focused totally on the job of saving these bears from any further injustice.

The three trucks carrying the bears arrived at 8pm last night (Monday, China time). The stench coming from the cages gave us some warning of what lay ahead. One poor bear was dead on arrival, his rake-thin body, still warm, grotesquely disfigured by smouldering wounds that had rotted down to the bone. We named him “Peace” and instinctively reached to hold his skeletal paw.

By midnight, all the bears had been unloaded and settled into two long poly-tunnels, the start of a long night.

To

Here’s the links to a series of articles published in Dec 2007, in Hong Kong about the still rampant cruelties of bear bile farming:

Chinese Animal Death Camps

(If you find this post informative, you might like to check out these.)


It may be just a bit difficult to picture what it really looks like inside the Beijing Olympics death camp for cats and dogs. Nobody likes to read about bad things in detail but I hope you will stay with me and read this post through. Because sometimes we shouldn’t try so hard to not know: ignorance breeds naivete, and naivete impedes positive action, and positive action is the only way such horror has any hope of ending.

For the longest time, I had problems understanding the concept of animal death camps too. However, the reality has been brought home since we got to know about the work AnimalsAsia.org does. Founder Jill Robinson started a blog, and has been chronicling the work she and the team does.

On 4 February 2008, a day after the annual “China Companion Animal Symposium” in Guangzhou, Jill and 2 team members visited the Maoshan Live Animal Market. I have no words to express my feelings for the scenes Jill described:

… even as the taxi pulls up outside the open courtyard the screams of terrified animals makes us wince. These cries echo around each avenue of the market until we finally meet the eyes of petrified dogs and cats that are minutes or hours from death. Panting from thirst and dehydration, crying with terror, confusion and pain, their suffering is profound. Sometimes their tails wag in hopeful anticipation that the soft apologies of people recording their pain will lead to release – until their eyes fade once again into hopeless reality and they turn away.

One cage suddenly breaks open as it crashes from the truck to the concrete floor below and all hell breaks loose as three cats find the opening and dash out into the lane, desperately trying to flee. The traders don’t miss a thing and surround the terrified cats, herding them into a corner, before grasping them around the necks with wire tongs and smashing them onto the ground until their bodies go limp. A young ginger male twitches for a few seconds and becomes still. A black-and-white cat convulses wildly in a semi-conscious state, blood pouring from her mouth, nose and broken legs before waking more fully and trying to scramble under a truck. Her adrenalin allows her one last chance of escape. The traders let her go, anticipating perhaps that she will soon die of shock and pain and isn’t worth chasing. We try to find her, but it’s an impossible task in the maze of animals and people and we pray that her agony will end soon.

As we continue taking pictures we hear a weak and plaintive mewing, and walk over to what we think will be a cage of mother and kittens. Instead, we nearly tread on a tiny newborn puppy, recently born of a sick or petrified mother and simply tossed away on the floor by the men.

Frightened and exhausted, several have no strength to rise to their feet and the traders kick them in the stomachs and beat their backs with metal poles until they can stand the agony no more and rise on shaking legs. Even then, the abuse continues and the traders continue beating them and grabbing their tails, painfully twisting them into knots, and forcing the donkeys to climb up the metal ramps into the cages.

What follows is the full two-part account (I am posting here since there no direct way of getting the individual blogpost link). Please do try to read it in full, because with understanding comes awareness, and when there is awareness then there is real hope that this can end.

The horrors of Maoshan – Part 1

Recently, I visited Maoshan Live Animal Market in Guangzhou with two of our China team, Christie and Rainbow. Such visits are probably the hardest part of our work at Animals Asia, but they’re also among the most important. We must keep monitoring this situation and exposing the truth about these hell-holes. These are my notes from the visit:

It’s 8am and I just don’t know how Christie and Rainbow can cope with the pain. You feel it in every fibre of your body, as you breathe the rancid, acrid smell of disease and taste the dust of death and decay. It lingers for hours after you’ve left one of these obscene live animal markets in China.

The place is Maoshan Market in the southern province of Guangdong and even as the taxi pulls up outside the open courtyard the screams of terrified animals makes us wince. These cries echo around each avenue of the market until we finally meet the eyes of petrified dogs and cats that are minutes or hours from death. Panting from thirst and dehydration, crying with terror, confusion and pain, their suffering is profound. Sometimes their tails wag in hopeful anticipation that the soft apologies of people recording their pain will lead to release – until their eyes fade once again into hopeless reality and they turn away.

We promise they will never die in vain. Rainbow is saying “please look at the camera; let me turn your agony into change for the animals of the future”. I can only say sorry to the eyes that turn my way – and I do out loud – and try to reassure them that their next life will be better.

Hundreds, possibly thousands, of dogs are piled into tiny wire mesh cages in pyramids teetering high into the air on the backs of the trucks. Cats are stacked in cages that wobble precariously on industrial weigh-scales as their mass of body weight is calculated for the local restaurants.

One cage suddenly breaks open as it crashes from the truck to the concrete floor below and all hell breaks loose as three cats find the opening and dash out into the lane, desperately trying to flee. The traders don’t miss a thing and surround the terrified cats, herding them into a corner, before grasping them around the necks with wire tongs and smashing them onto the ground until their bodies go limp. A young ginger male twitches for a few seconds and becomes still. A black-and-white cat convulses wildly in a semi-conscious state, blood pouring from her mouth, nose and broken legs before waking more fully and trying to scramble under a truck. Her adrenalin allows her one last chance of escape. The traders let her go, anticipating perhaps that she will soon die of shock and pain and isn’t worth chasing. We try to find her, but it’s an impossible task in the maze of animals and people and we pray that her agony will end soon.

Animals, both dead and alive, are squashed together, suffocating in cages the size of small suitcases – each movement of one causing others to scream in pain as broken and wounded limbs are nudged or sat upon. So many dogs are sick and suffering from the ravages of parvovirus or distemper; several wheezing last breaths, while others are now lifeless in their cages. As we continue taking pictures we hear a weak and plaintive mewing, and walk over to what we think will be a cage of mother and kittens. Instead, we nearly tread on a tiny newborn puppy, recently born of a sick or petrified mother and simply tossed away on the floor by the men.

His body is cold, but he’s breathing and, wrapping him in the fabric of an old umbrella we find on the floor, I hold him close to my body, trying to raise his temperature. Less than 30 minutes later, Rainbow finds another – a tiny newborn black-and-white female, again with umbilical cord attached, and a body temperature even lower than the first. Two tiny lives to take later to our friend John Wu the vet whom we had just said goodbye to the evening before at our annual China Companion Animal Symposium.

The horrors of Maoshan – part 2

The market also doubles as a slaughterhouse – a round metal drum with orange spikes used for “de-furring” the cats and dogs sits just outside a burning cauldron that will be cooking their meat for customers towards lunchtime.

Close by, truck after truck piled high with white goats begin arriving at the market, while donkeys are being dragged out of sheds and loaded into cages, trucked off to be slaughtered elsewhere. Frightened and exhausted, several have no strength to rise to their feet and the traders kick them in the stomachs and beat their backs with metal poles until they can stand the agony no more and rise on shaking legs. Even then, the abuse continues and the traders continue beating them and grabbing their tails, painfully twisting them into knots, and forcing the donkeys to climb up the metal ramps into the cages.

Christie says she is better in the market this time, but her sad eyes tell a different story, and Rainbow’s face is ashen as he leans in to get a close-up of some trembling dogs crammed into cages. It is his first time. In reality, these places haunt you for days and weeks afterwards and we all work hard to keep positive at times like this.

But there is hope. Our 2nd China Companion Animal Symposium in November 2007 was as amazing and wonderful as the first. Nearly 40 group leaders – representing millions of people across the country – voting unanimously for goals that can turn the lives of these animals around. We have to persevere – and we will, because we can see the change each and every day.

Back in John’s vet clinic, we are prepared for him to say he would prefer to euthanise the two weak and tiny puppies. Administering two-hourly feeds over the following days is an enormous challenge for a vet already saturated with work in southern China. John just looks at them for two seconds before saying quietly, “let’s try”. Hope is eternal, but we are prepared for the worst knowing the origin of their disease-ridden birth.

If they pull through “Hope” and “Shame”, as we named these two little fur balls, will have a future as ambassadors for the dogs they left behind. My only regret is that I didn’t walk around the market for a few minutes showing them to dogs that might have been their mother. As the light fades from their eyes, I so wish they could know that their babies are safe.

To

  • read more about AnimalsAsia’s work on the cats, dogs and “food” animals in China, click here
  • learn how to help, click here

(If you find this post informative, you might like to check out these.)

So you like Fried Chicken

(If you find this post informative, you might like to check out these.)


These two sites are a must-read for the conscientious consumer. Remember what these chickens went through when you look at the Colonel’s menu.

  • Kentucky Fried Cruelty
  • Tortured By Tyson
    Where there is the Colonel, there’s Tyson.

    • Tyson Foods is a major supplier to KFC, which PETA is targeting until the company agrees to eliminate the worst abuses of chickens. Tyson’s “director of animal well-being,” who was unable or unwilling to prevent the abuse discovered in our investigation, sits on KFC’s Animal Welfare Advisory Council.

Related: A Sunless Hell by Matthew Scully

More references: