Crimes Against Animals the World Doesn’t Want You to Know About
There are horrific things that happen to animals all for the sake of human tradition, cultural belief of simply for monetary gains. These aren’t often talked about but it’s time to shine a light on the shocking abuses against animals that still go on today. Shakila Rajendra explores some of the atrocities that she thinks should not be kept under the radar.
Abuse Arising from Festivals and Cultural Traditions and Beliefs
1) Gadhimai Festival, Nepal
Nepal usually has a reputation as an animal-loving country where cows are revered as sacred beasts but during the Gadhimai Festival, an astonishing amount of animals are sacrificed in honour of the Hindu Goddess, Gadhimai. The festival would take place every 5 years in the town of Bariyarpur and has been practiced for over 250 years. During this festival, thousands of farm animals such as buffalo, pigs, goats, ducks and chickens will be inhumanely sacrificed and in 2009 it was estimated up to 500,000 animals were killed. Thankfully, in July 2015, Nepal’s temple trust announced the cancellation of the festival and the Indian government has also put a stop to animals being sent to Nepal for the festival.
2) Yulin Festival, China
In China, dog meat has been consumed for hundreds and maybe thousands of years. Dog meat, the Chinese believe, is meant to alleviate heat exhaustion which has led to it being popularly consumed during the summer months. In Yulin, a festival using dog meat in hot pots became popular in 2010 and up to 10,000 dogs were slaughtered for this festival. Since then, there has been huge international outcry to put an end to this festival. Sadly, up until this year, efforts to put a complete stop to this festival which takes place on the 21st of June (summer solstice) have still been unsuccessful. If you would like to get involved or sign a petition, click on this link: https://action.hsi.org/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=104&ea.campaign.id=38221
3) The Running of the Bulls, Toro de la Vega & Pero Palo, Spain
We may have heard of Pamplona’s running of the bulls festival where bulls are petrified and prodded to run down the streets of the city and eventually they are stabbed to death by matadors in the bullfighting arenas. There are also other festivals in Spain that torture and kill animals in similar methods and nothing has been done to put a stop to these festivals simply because it is rendered a cultural tradition and authorities do not want to upset those who practice these rituals. Festivals such as the Toro de la Vega where hundreds of men chase a bull through the streets of Tordesillas are armed with lances which they will use to maim the bull. When it is weak and can go no further, men will then attack the bull further and cut off its testicles while it is still alive and subject it to further torture until it dies. Similarly, the Pero Palo Festival does similarly inhumane acts to a donkey where drunken mobs will torture the animal and even force it to drink alcohol until it is too weak to run and eventually kill it.
4) Drive Hunting
Dolphins and whales are caught and killed for their meat as well as captured for other purposes using the drive hunting method in a number of places all over the world. Drive hunting involves surrounding a group of whales or dolphins with boats and then driving them into a bay or toward the shore. In the Faroe Islands situated in the North Atlantic where a ritual called Grindagrap drives hundreds of pilot whales to the shore where they are then slaughtered for their meat and blubber. The hunt is a bloody affair and is known to turn the sea red with blood during the weeks in which it is practiced. Similarly, dolphins are also killed in this way particularly in Japan and Peru. Although in recent years there has been call to stop these practices, many argue that hunting whales and dolphins are an integral part of sea-dwelling culture and provide a much-needed source of meat. However, it is argued that due to environmental pollution, eating these animals may prove more harmful to the health as their meat may contain mercury.
Abuse Arising From The Keeping of Pets
5) Animal Hoarding
This is a form of animal abuse that is so common yet, many who practice it are not even aware of the harm they are causing animals. The practice of animal hoarding can be linked to mental illness whereby an individual will keep an unusual amount of animals as their ‘pets’ in conditions that cannot provide them adequate care, shelter, sanitation or food and could lead to these animals suffering from illness, starvation and even death. The worrying part of this situation is that the individual who possesses these animals will usually be in denial of their failure to care for these animals and believe themselves to be rescuers or saviours but instead, they are doing more harm than good to these animals.
6) Puppy Mills
For the sake of commercial profit, many breeders take to creating puppy mills, a facility whereby the monetary gains take priority over the wellbeing of the dogs. Puppy mills usually keep dogs in cramped cages and many of the female dogs are simply kept alive for their breeding capabilities. When they can no longer do so, they are often killed or simply left to starve to death. As for the puppies they are often bred with little consideration for their health or genetic quality. Pups as young as 6-8 weeks are sold to pet shops and can often develop health problems such as parasites or other genetic disorders. It is hard to pinpoint if puppies sold in pet shops have come from a puppy mill or not which is why it is always better to choose adoption as an option when looking for a pet.
Abuse of Animals for Sport or Commercial Profit
7) Greyhound Dog Killing
Greyhound racing may seem harmless enough but the reality is that the dogs that can no longer perform for this sport often meet cruel fates. Many, instead of being re-homed are simply killed by their owners or left for dead. To make matters worse, before they’re killed, they have their ears cut off without any anaesthetic or proper surgical methods because they have identification tattoos on their ears that can be traced back to their owners. Some of these dogs are also often sold to animal testing labs. In 2002, the remains of almost 3000 greyhounds were found in the grounds of racing track in Florida and an undercover report discovered the remains of approximately 10,000 dogs that were killed by a merchant in the UK who was killing dogs that trainers deemed too slow to race.
8) Canned Hunting
This is the practice of keeping animals in a confined area with only one purpose in mind – for them to be hunted and killed as part of a hunter’s trophy collection. Although there are laws in most parts of the world that ban this sport, many, such as South Africa still practice it as part of their tourism draws. Lions especially are high on the list of animals that these trophy hunters seek to exploit as well as other big game animals. There is also no real evidence that suggests that these animals are kept in captivity for any other reason apart from satisfying trophy hunters’ appetites as some suggest that captivity centres are kept open to conserve the population of these animals.
9) Clubbing of Baby Seals
Every year the Canadian government allows hunters to cull seals, many of them babies as part of the expansion of the fur trade. Seals are often shot or worse, clubbed repeatedly to death. They are then skinned for their fur and left for dead if they aren’t already. Recently, both the European Union and the United States have passed laws that ban the sale of seal products but the killing of these gentle animals still goes on as it is claimed that the demand of fur products continues to rise.
10) Shark Finning
If you’ve ever had a bowl of shark’s fin soup, you may want to reconsider your next one or any restaurant that serves it. Shark finning is an incredibly cruel way in which shark’s fins are obtained for food and traditional medicine. Sharks have their fins cut off while still alive which renders them unable to swim and they often sink to the bottom of the ocean left to the mercy of predators or to suffocate. Many countries have since banned shark finning in their waters but the demand for shark’s fin products continues especially here in Asia. As shark populations are rapidly declining as a result of this, the best way to stop the practice is to decrease the trade or the demand of these products.
For more interesting information:
- The Animals, Vegetarianism and Environment category on my blog
- Gadhimai – A Holy Festival?
- Marc Ching Shows Us The Way
- Toro Jubilo
- Why is he crying?
- Rescued Cats and Dogs Only
- The Simpsons Co-Creator Sam does what?
- I Love To Hunt… Let’s Go Kill!
- Red on white…
- Extinction in a bowl of soup
- Look what China’s doing!
- Amazing Things You Didn’t Know About Them
- These Dying Dogs Need Your Help Urgently
- New Zealand Officially Recognizes All Animals as Sentient Beings
- New Animal Welfare Bill for 2015 Passed in Malaysia!
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