With snowstorms heading in to the East Coast, I just wanted to remind everyone to let your pets inside during the frigid and snowy weather. Remember if you’re cold, so are they.
LETTER of the DAY: In light of SeaWorld’s recent media push, a former casual visitor Amy Costanzo, now a practicing attorney, cc’d The Orca Project on her letter to SeaWorld executives and shares her views on the marine park’s self-serving (and costly) attempt to “set the record straight“.
Well done Amy! We couldn’t agree with you more. You can read SeaWorld’s open letter to the public HERE (published as full-page advertisements in U.S. Newspapers) and then read the response from this everyday caring citizen here:
Dear Ms. Bides, Mr. Jacobs, and all other SeaWorld employees (including Mr. Jim Atchison),
I read your “open letter” (read: flyer) this morning in the Orlando Sentinel. It seems that the American public has grown wary of you and your operations since the release of the film “Blackfish”, and rightfully so. Since you are inclined to make public statements regarding the alleged care of animals, specifically orcas, in your custody, as a…
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After watching the engrossing and heartbreaking documentary, Blackfish, I am ashamed to say I’ve been a part of this cruel culture. I remember as a child, going to SeaWorld and sitting in the stadium of concrete steps. I remember squealing as I was splashed with a big wave of water created by an Orca whale. With the innocence and ignorance of a three or four-year-old child, I had no idea just how wrong this show was. Watching it seemed fun and harmless, but since growing up and being interested in animal rights and after watching the documentary, I know that the behind-the-scenes of SeaWorld and its history is completely unmoral.
It is sickening to watch such intelligent creatures being held in captivity. There is nowhere they should be except in the wild with their family, living the life they were meant to live. Humans have no right to mess with what nature intended. If the orcas were never taken out of their natural habitat, the injuries and deaths of their trainers would have never happened. That is a fact that a PR team can in no way sugarcoat.
I find myself in outrage with the fact that no matter how many people have spread the word, SeaWorld continues to function. This multi-million theme park company is making money through inhumane exploitation of animals that are way more complex than they realize.
I’m asking everyone who reads this to please watch the documentary of Blackfish, do some research of your own, and most importantly, do not support SeaWorld. Do not take your children there. Introducing a child to such a covered-up, brutish way to make money will only contribute to foolishness. With the knowledge of what captivity means for these remarkable animals, I encourage everyone to educate their children, family and friends the right way so that in the future, animals will be respected, and as a society we can hold superior morals.
The documentary Blackfish is available on Netflix, or you can rent or purchase it on YouTube. Watch the documentary preview here. I could go into detail and type out the heartbreaking scenes of the whales being separated from their family and the attacks on the trainers, but this is something you need to see for yourself. Trust me…just watch it.
If you were in a bathtub for 25 years, don’t you think you’d get a little psychotic? -Jane Velez-Mitchell
Vegetarianism is the practice of not eating meat, and in some cases, also abstaining from dairy or other animal by-products. Many people have adopted vegetarianism, and it seems as if more and more people are opening up to a meat-free diet. One of the main reasons people decide to go vegetarian is for ethical reasons like animal rights. As The Veiled Life has shared in the past, animals used for food come from factory farms —places of mistreatment and cruelty.
Jeannie Bohince, a strong animal-lover, has been a vegetarian for a few years now and sat down with me to talk about her experience.
Why did you become a vegetarian? For example, was it for moral, health, religion, environmental, or taste reasons?
Two reasons –high cholesterol, and I read a book called Where The Blind Horse Sings about a farm animal sanctuary.
How long have you been vegetarian?
How would you describe your motivation for becoming vegetarian? Has it changed over the years?
As I read books and watched films about factory farming, I was convinced that I did not want to contribute to that. I remain adamant about not eating meat, and in fact, it doesn’t appeal to me at all.
Does it make your life more difficult?
It’s more difficult in the sense that you have to read labels closely if you don’t want to eat animal products, and also it isn’t mainstream so anytime you eat out or at a social function you have to find vegetarian options. Some people aren’t tolerant of it either.
Do you think you are stereotyped for being vegetarian/vegan for moral reasons?
Definitely. There are people who don’t think about food. It’s just a selection on a menu. They don’t understand my reason for doing.
Do you have any friends that are a vegetarian/vegan?
Do you feel more support from online communities, blogs and websites compared to real life people, or vice versa?
Yes. I belong to several meet-ups and met very nice, interesting people who share my belief.
How has being vegetarian affected your eating habits?
I don’t eat meat at all. I use soymilk at home but will sometimes have milk in my coffee when I’m out or there will be eggs, cheese, or milk in my food.
How has your diet evolved over the years of being vegetarian?
I don’t think about it as much now. It doesn’t seem like a deliberate effort because it’s become my lifestyle.
Is the food as good?
Yes, to me it’s better because I know that no animals were killed for me to consume. I also love Indian food because of the variety of spices in their food and because they also eat a lot of vegetarian food.
Are there any foods you miss eating?
If there is any taste I miss, I guess it would be salmon.
Many people who aren’t vegetarian question how non-meat eaters get enough protein? How do you do it?
TVP (texturized vegetable protein), soymilk and soy products, tofu, beans, Greek yogurt, and quinoa.
Are there any difficulties or drawbacks with being a vegetarian?
I have to be more selective about food. There aren’t as many options when eating out.
What benefits do you think you have from being vegetarian?
I eat more fruit and vegetables, have lower cholesterol, and I feel good about non-animal consumption.
Some people say “Animals kill other animals for food, so why shouldn’t we humans, too?” What do you have to say to that?
Farm animals are mistreated and abused, and it’s been proven that they have intelligence and near-human emotions. Making animals live in dark warehouses in horrendous conditions is not the circle of life.
Do you think everyone should cut meat from his or her diet?
Any last remarks?
I would encourage anybody to educate themselves about factory farming and watch videos Forks Over Knives, Food Inc, and Peaceable Kingdom. Also read the books Where The Blind Horse Sings and Farm Sanctuary. It will make you think of the animals by their name: cow, not unground hamburger, pig, not pork, and chicken, not chicken wings
For some people, vegetarianism is a big life change, but it also comes with the satisfaction of knowing you’re not contributing to factory farming. I strongly recommend you find out if a vegetarian lifestyle is something you’d be interested in. For more information, refer to the Vegetarian Resource Group.
Go to the Humane Society’s website to learn about their most recent investigation of puppy mills in Texas.
Not only are puppy mills majorly contributing to pet overpopulation, but they are also cruel to the dogs. It is important that people see the conditions in the video and understand what goes on without them knowing. Please open your eyes to the well-researched information from HSUS and share it with family and friends.
Puppy mills contribute to pet overpopulation and cause countless dogs lifetimes of suffering in squalid wire cages. Help us stop this cycle of cruelty: Do your research before getting a puppy, and look into adopting a dog from your local shelter.
You can also watch the investigation video here: