Tag Archives: animal rights

We Have a Dream [Celebrating MLK the Animal Culture Way]

“It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tired into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one destiny, affects all indirectly.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today we celebrate the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr., who, because of his non-violent activism, played a crucial role in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. His peaceful stances and engaging speeches left a mark on this world forever, and by breaking the silence he was able to have a dream and help make it come true.

Here at Animal Culture we have a dream of our own.

We dream that animals and humans will be able to live in peace with one another, and that humans will start treating nature and its inhabitants as equals.

Photo Via: Pinterest.com

Photo Via: Pinterest.com

We dream that we see no more news articles of animals being beaten, tortured, and abused. Instead, we dream of seeing more of this:

We dream that one day the rights and welfare of animals will be a priority on everyone’s agenda.

Photo Via: animal-rights-action.com

Photo Via: animal-rights-action.com

We strive to speak up about animal abuse and educate the public about animal rights, and we try to live by the words of MLK, Jr: “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”

We will not be silent, and we hope you will speak up as well.

*Note: The article above was written by © Kalie Lyn, 2016*

A Place to Rest – Blog the Change for Animals

Today on Animal Culture, we are partaking in a blog challenge called Blog the Change for Animals. An opportunity to share our favorite cause for animals, this is dedicated to the people who work hard to care and help our fellow creatures.

Blog the Change

Twenty years ago, in 1994, Ana Julia Torres created a wildlife shelter for mistreated and abused animals. Located in Cali, Columbia, more than 1,000 animals spend the remainder of their lives safe and sheltered at the Refugio Villa Lorena – Villa Lorena Refuge.

Arriving to the shelter with brutal pasts, most of the animals were overworked and abused at circuses, imprisoned by drug traffickers and warlords, neglected at zoos, or kept as exotic pets in people’s homes. Lions, tigers, monkeys, camels, birds, goats, and everything in between, these creatures come malnourished, physically abused, and some, according to the refuge’s website, even raped by humans.

According to Torres, as told to First News, “We want the animals to live in peace. All their life they were shown at circuses and shows, this is a paradise where they can finally rest.”  With community programs where people can visit the shelter to see and learn about the animals and their plights, Villa Lorena Refuge is aimed toward education of the importance of animals, and creating a safe haven for mistreated animals.

Torres embracing Jupiter, a once mistreated lion who she nursed back to health. (Photo Via: Firstnews.co.uk)

Torres embracing Jupiter, a once mistreated lion who she nursed back to health.
(Photo Via: Firstnews.co.uk)

A place created by humans for animals, Villa Lorena Refuge is an inspirational shelter for those of us who want to make a difference in the animal kingdom. With knowledge and love of our fellow creatures, and especially a passion to help, all humans can strive to make the world a better place. A place where we can live in harmony with all living things, and make our own safe haven.

Torres with a rescued camel. (Photo Via: NYtimes.com)

Torres with a rescued camel.
(Photo Via: NYtimes.com)

Click to find out more about Refugio Villa Lorena, view more inspiring photos, and to see how YOU can help a worthy cause.

*Sources: Refugiovillalorena.org, Firstnews.co.uk, Nytimes.com*

A Massacre in Canada

Today starts the hunt. Not the hunt for knowledge or treasure, but the hunt for murder.

Every year, around March and April, when the new spring harp seal babies shed their fuzzy white coats, which usually starts at 12 days old, thousands of Canadian fishermen make their way to the Canadian Atlantic coastline. However, they are not there for the fish.

(Photo Via: Goodnature.nathab.com)

(Photo Via: Goodnature.nathab.com)

They come bearing clubs or hakapiks – a stick with a hooked blade guns, and knives. These fishermen proceed to brutally slaughter hundreds of thousands of seals, the majority being infants (any seal over 12 days old is legal to kill). They club them to death, hitting them repeatedly over the head until they die. Now, according to new “standards” set in 2008 by the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), sealers are supposed to puncture the skull to make sure the seal is dead. After, they bleed the dead seals by slitting arteries located under the front flippers, then proceed to skin them.

(Photo Via: Canadiansealhunt.com)

(Photo Via: Canadiansealhunt.com)

This year, starting today on April 14, 2014, 400,000 harp seals are legally able to be killed, a quota set by the DFO. The majority of those seals are no older than 3 months, and their pelts, oil, and meat is sold while the rest of the seal will be discarded. Claiming also as a reason for the hunt, the DFO states that harp seals are eating all the cod. However, a seals diet only consists of 3% of cod, while the majority of their diet is fish that are actually predators to cod.

Currently, more than 30 countries have stopped their involvement with the seal trade, one of which is the United States. However, many countries still participate, the majority being Norway, Germany, China, and Greenland.

An annual massacre that is both brutal and unnecessary, the Canadian seal hunt needs to be stopped. Luckily, with fellow animal activists, your voice can be heard. Visit Harpseals.org to figure out how YOU can help end the inhumane murder of hundreds of thousands of baby and adult seals.

Want to make a bigger impact? Contact the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans directly. Feel free to express yourself in your own way (keep it clean and educated though!), or use the outline below provided by Animal Culture.


I am appalled by the annual Canadian seal hunt. Hundreds of thousands of seals are brutally murdered, and it is unnecessary. 

Because of the continued ban of the seal trade in more than 30 countries, your market for seal skins, oil, and meat has dropped drastically, making this hunt irrelevant. I also understand that a reason for the hunt is that the seals are eating all the cod. However, only 3% of a seal’s diet is cod, and the majority of the seal’s diet consists of fish that are predators to cod. 

People from all over the world, including most Canadians, oppose the seal hunt. Because of this seal hunt, Canada is appearing insensitive and behind-the-times with the condoning and involvement in the seal hunt. Please, I urge you to stop this massacre of innocent baby and adult seals. Until this ends, I will not be purchasing Canadian seafood, anything made of seals, and will urge all my family and friends to do the same.

End the Canadian seal hunt!

Signed: (Your Name)


Below is the email for Gail Shea, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. She is the one responsible for setting the seal hunt kill quota.


Secondly, send an email to Keith Hutchings, Fisheries Minister for the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, where the majority of the seal hunt takes place.


*Sources: Harpseals.org, Liberationbc.org, Seashepherd.org, Hsi.org,*

In the Name of Tradition

Filled with tradition, Spain is the place for festivals. But when festivals consist of cruelty, when is it time to move on?

Animal Culture is on vacation in Madrid, Spain for the next three weeks. Kalie Lyn, Animal Culture‘s author, is visiting her Spanish husband’s family, and the place she called home from 2008 to 2013.

Warm, beautiful, friendly, and a side of paella, Spain is a country with lots of heritage and tradition. From Flamenco to fútobol, Spain lives and breathes culture. However, in the name of tradition, the rights and welfare of animals are often overlooked.

Bullfighting, a blood-shed sport dating back to the 18th century in Spain, is a popular attraction for both Spaniards and tourists. Bullfighters, called Matadores de Toros, fight the bulls, piercing them with swords. The fight ends when the bull dies.

(Photo Via: Venere.com)

(Photo Via: Venere.com)

Every January, in Manganeses de la Polvorosa (a village in the north of Spain), a festival is held in honor of St. Vincent, the town’s saint. Legend has it that a goat, owned by a priest in the village, climbed to the belfry of the church, and when the Sunday mass bell rang, the frightened goat lept from the top of the church. Fortunately, the goat was saved when he was caught with a blanket by people from below. Because of this legend, every year in January, until 2000, during the festival of St. Vincent, a goat was thrown from the roof of a church. The goal was to catch the goat with a blanket.

(Photo Via: Thelocal.es)

(Photo Via: Thelocal.es)

Probably the most cruel tradition of all is called the Rapa das Bestas. Beginning the first Saturday of July, and ending after three days, this festival in Galicia consists of rounding up wild horses. Corralled into a brick-walled circle, spectators tackle the horses, cutting off their manes and tails and branding them.

(Photo Via: Blameitonthevoices.com)

(Photo Via: Blameitonthevoices.com)

(Photo Via: Blameitonthevoices.com)

(Photo Via: Blameitonthevoices.com)

Tradition is important for any country and its citizens, but where does tradition cross the line of cruelty? While these festivals happen, the majority of Spaniards are against them and their practices. Most times, these festivals are isolated in smaller towns and villages where animal rights are non-existent, and animals are viewed as sources of food, work, and entertainment. However, even in large cities, such as Madrid, practices involving animals exist, such as bullfighting (side note: Bullfighting was banned in Barcelona and surrounding communities of Catalonia in 2012; hopefully Madrid is soon to follow).

Traveling to Spain and other countries that have these type of spectaculars does not mean tourists need to view them in order to absorb the country’s culture. One way to end these festival acts is to not attend them, both as a tourist and a local. These festivals are often protested by PETA and other animal rights groups, so joining the protest can also possibly help end them. Besides, Spain is rich with festivals and there are many others, which don’t feature animals, that capture the fun and culture that is Spain (view the Top Ten Festivals in Spain).

Spain is a wonderful country but just like with many places, animals are often considered second-class (sometimes not even that) citizens. Tradition is important, but animals and humans alike do not need to get hurt in the process. It is mandatory though to bring awareness to these issues, and to help stop the often cruel and inhumane practices that go along with tradition.

*Sources: Bullfightticketsmadrid.com, Entertainmentinspain.com, Blameitonthevoices.com, Thelocal.es, Spain.info, Gospain.about.com*