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Happy New Year

I sincerely hope 2013 will be another year when animal welfare issues move forward another notch.  Last year saw increasing awareness of animal welfare issues in the UK, Australia and the US but, as always, progress is slow.  The big movements seem to be in the UK (Europe) and Australia, although Veganism seems to really growing in the US.  The big highlights of 2012, for me, were:

UK/Europe

The ending of the horrible sow stall in all farms across Europe.  The UK was ahead of the game but at least these practices will be ‘officially’ outlawed in Europe and millions of sows will have a better life.  I say ‘officially’, as it looks like some countries in Europe won’t be ready even though they have had over 10 years to prepare for the rules – unbelievable.  It just shows how powerful lobby groups can be to delay anything that might involve a cost and, unfortunately, how selective some European countries are in enforcing the rules they’ve signed up to.  It looks like 14 EU countries will break these new rules which means continued animal suffering and exploitation (see http://www.ciwf.org.uk/news/pig_farming/happy_new_year_sows.aspx).   

The Vegan investment funds in the UK are still going strong, by all accounts, demonstrating once again that investing responsibly is good for you, society, animals and the planet.

Australia

The big news for me was the launch of the ‘Make it Possible’ campaign by Animals Australia.  This really is the mainstreaming of animal welfare issues in Australia, with TV adverts and media coverage of the plight of animals in the factory farming system.  If you haven’t seen the video or read about the campaign yet, take a look at  http://www.makeitpossible.com/

Cruelty Free Super is still the only 100% animal friendly ethical investment option in Australia and is in its third year, with new members joining every week.

USA

Things are happening and there is progress, but it seems to be painfully slow.  Big business has enormous power in the US so real change will have to come via public pressure.  This pressure will only increase if animal welfare groups are well funded and supported.  It is incumbent on every animal welfare activist in the USA to get out there, spread the word and to demand change.  This change will have to be progressive and incremental but the momentum is now on the side of the animals.  For example, have a look at http://www.voanews.com/content/humane-society-pushes-to-ban-confining-chicken-pens—142500955/180193.html

Let’s make 2013 a year when all of us to step up a gear so we can all look back with pride as a year that made a positive difference to the lives of animals; look at what you eat, get your friends and relatives to make a change and check where your money is invested.  Don’t allow your money to finance the abuse of animals, the destruction of our society or the degradation of our planet.


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