Enter an Endangered Animal and Learn of Their Plight

Evelyn Roth Inflatable Animals

Artist Evelyn Roth is using classroom sized animals to spread the word about endangered animals. She has created bright and cheerful looking versions of animals that are endangered to provide a pop-up space for kids to learn all about these animals. Her work is presently travelling the world and educating children.

“The designs interact with the people inside to make a fascinating, enjoyable and engaging intimate atmosphere where people are inspired to listen and learn and are subconsciously imprinted with the stories.’’

Roth returned from Hawaii this week after being commissioned to create a Southern Right Whale and two Monk Seals to highlight the plight of these endangered animals to the local community.

“The Monk Seal colony on Kauai in Hawaii is the last remaining colony in the world,’’ Roth said.

Read more.

Blackfish Documentary Hurts SeaWorld

SeaWorld is an entertainment company that has large aquatic mammals in captivity performing tricks for humans. Their entertainment shows look impressive, but what goes on behind the scenes is rather scary. The good news is that in 2013 this aquatic animal abuse got mainstream attention.

In Canada, the Toronto Star ran an exposé on Marineland (similar to SeaWorld). In the USA a documentary on SeaWorld, Blackfish, has impacted attendance at both companies. Now that people know the poor conditions animals are held in, people have stopped supporting these misbehaving companies.

Seeing these animals can be impressive but we shouldn’t forget what the animals are used to.

In a recent interview, he explained that killer whales, which can cover 100 miles a day in open waters, don’t bother humans in the wild. Indeed, there’s only one documented case of an orca biting a surfer (in 1972), and even that incident was more likely an accident than an attack (the surfer was wearing a wetsuit and may have resembled a seal).

But captivity is a different story. Killer whales are kept in tight quarters, fed a diet of thawed fish, and routinely separated from their calves. These circumstances, according to Kirby, “create stress in these animals,” often to the extent that they lash out.

We also shouldn’t forget the power that even a small group of people can have:

What’s more assured is that, in an era of increasing corporate dominance, a low-budget investigative work can still send shock waves through an established corporation with a once pristine reputation. “SeaWorld used to be the darling of the media,” said Kirby.

Read more here.

Thanks to Jeanette!

EU Bans Cosmetics Tested on Animals

The European Union has banned the selling of cosmetics that have been tested on animals. This will make the lives of many animals better and may encourage innovations in cosmetic testing .

The ban applies to all new cosmetics and their ingredients sold in the EU, regardless of where in the world testing on animals was carried out.

The 27 EU countries have had a ban on such tests in place since 2009. But the EU Commission is now asking the EU’s trading partners to do the same.

Read more at the BBC.

Pet Therapy For Your Health

Any pet owner can attest that having a cute loving animal around can make you feel better, but did you know that having a pet can make you physically healthier? What’s even better is that animals benefit benefit in a similar way that we do. I wonder what this has to do with eusocial evolution, if anything.

The use of pets in medical settings actually dates back more than 150 years, says Aubrey Fine, a clinical psychologist and professor at California State Polytechnic University. “One could even look at Florence Nightingale recognizing that animals provided a level of social support in the institutional care of the mentally ill,” says Fine, who has written several books on the human-animal bond.

But it was only in the late 1970s that researchers started to uncover the scientific underpinnings for that bond.

One of the earliest studies, published in 1980, found that heart attack patients who owned pets lived longer than those who didn’t. Another early study found that petting one’s own dog could reduce blood pressure.

Read more at NPR.

No More Bull Fighting in Catalonia

Bull fighting is animal cruelty that has some legitimacy in Spain, but that has started to change. For many years animal rights activists have been championing the safety and good-treatment of bulls and in Catalonia the last bull fight happened a couple days ago.

With any luck, the rest of Spain will follow suit and ban bullfighting.

Hundreds of anti-bullfight protesters gathered outside the bull ring carrying posters reading “RIP,” “Goodbye” and “A great day for the bulls” under the watchful eyes of squads of police.

“It is a small victory, but the thought of having it in the rest of Spain and still having Correbous (local fiestas) here does not make me happy. I am here because six animals are going to be tortured here today,” said an anti-bullfighting activist who gave his name as Luis.

The law banning bullfighting in autonomous Catalonia was passed by the regional parliament in July last year after a citizens’ petition. It comes into effect in January but Sunday was Barcelona’s farewell as it is the end of the season.

Read the rest of the article.
Info on why bull fighting is not good.

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