Activists to Orca Enslavers: Thanks, but No Tanks

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June 25, 2013 By 

Confining the planet’s second smartest mammal to aquarium tanks is cruel and unusual punishment.

July is shaping up to be a tough month for the captive marine mammal industry. My book, Death at SeaWorld, Shamu and the Dark Side of Killer Whales in Captivity, comes out in paperback in one week, on July 2, followed by the release of the critically acclaimed documentaryBlackfish, which opens July 17. The double-punch against orca captivity has been duly noted by major media around the world, including an upcoming feature article in Business Week.

Then, on July 27, comes a global day of protest against marine mammal facilities, taking place in at least 21 locations around the worldEmpty the Tanks Worldwide is billed by the group’s Facebook page as “a day for everyone around the world to stand up against marine mammal captivity. The abuse and exploitation of these sentient beings has no place in the 21st century.” 

Recently, I caught up with Empty the Tanks organizer Rachel Greenhalgh from her home near Seattle, not far from the San Juan Islands, Washington—one of the world’s premier places to see orcas in their natural habitat: the vast and open sea.

TakePart: How did you come up with this idea?

Rachel Greenhalgh: I was in Taiji, Japan, as a Cove Guardian in January of this year. On one of my last days there I was thinking that I wanted to find a way to be productive and proactive in this fight against the captivity industry after I returned home. That’s when and where this whole idea began. The captive animals floating listlessly in their tiny sea pens in Taiji are a sight that cuts you to your core. I wanted to come home and continue fighting for them.

How did you get the word out?

I began messaging other activists around the world, asking if they would become event coordinators. It took time but I eventually found passionate and dedicated individuals to help carry out this important event with me. Once I had about a half dozen participating locations, I began getting messages from people all over the world who wanted to host their own Empty the Tanks event. Facebook has created amazing connection opportunities for activists like myself.

How many people in how many cities are now signed up to take part?

We have 21 locations in nine countries participating in the Empty the Tanks event. I am expecting a few hundred people to participate in these events around the world. Those numbers will hopefully grow each year that this annual event continues.

What is the most unexpected place where a protest is taking part?

I don’t know that there is an unexpected place. I think it is amazing we have 21 locations in nine counties. The two events taking place in Japan are very meaningful to me simply because of the time I spent in Taiji, Japan. I think it is incredible to see such commitment in the Japanese activists.

Do you want to retire marine mammals over time, or close down marine parks altogether?

Ideally, I would want these parks to close down. I do not feel marine mammal entertainment parks have any place in the 21st century. We know the level of awareness these animals have. We know their social connections, their eating habits, and natural wild behaviours. You cannot breed natural instincts out of an animal in a handful of generations. These are incredibly social, intelligent beings that are being used to make money. It is animal slavery, and it needs to be brought to the general public’s attention.

Empty the Tanks is not a radical movement requesting the release of all the captive whales and dolphins. Some of these animals might be great candidates for release, but those that are not should be retired into sea pens, where they can enjoy the rest of their days in natural seawater, feeling the waves of the ocean around them. They should not be worked until their last breath is taken and then thrown out like trash and replaced.

Why Is SeaWorld Allowing Its Killer Whales to Live in Crumbling Pools?

What do you expect to happen outside these facilities and how will guests get the message?

These events are about getting a message to the general public. We are trying to reach those going to the ticket counter. We are not the ones buying the tickets and keeping these parks in business, and we need to reach the public and get them to understand what they are supporting. We have some great informational postcards that will be handed out to anyone willing to take one as well as some powerful banners with images that speak for themselves.

Have you received any response from the captive display industry?

I have not heard from anyone in the captivity industry so far. I have been banned from most of the marine parks’ Facebook pages so I haven’t been able to post event information on them. (Someone claiming to be a SeaWorld educator, and another person says she used to work at the company, have posted comments the EET Facebook page.)

Where can people get more information?

If someone would like to host an event on July 27, or get more information, please send me an email to Rachel@emptythetanksworldwide.com. They can also contact me via thewebsite.

What do you think will come of this and what can concerned citizens do next when it’s over?

I think we will reach new people who were unaware of this issue. Even if we only get one family to turn away from that planned day at the park, well that is one more family on our side of this fight. Every person matters and eventually we will win this fight. We will see an end to marine mammal exploitation and to places like SeaWorld. We have already seen other countries ban shows using dolphins, so it is only a matter of time before the whole world catches on. I will not stop until we do. The best thing concerned citizens can do is continue to spread the truth about the captivity industry. Never stop talking about this issue until we empty the tanks worldwide.

TAKE THE PLEDGE:- Don’t Buy The Ticket! Whales & Dolphins Shouldn’t Be in Captivity:- Please click link to sign :- http://www.takepart.com/actions/dont-buy-ticket-whale-show?cmpid=tp-ptnr-tab-d84909c52edcceb20c7bba62052b1b01

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Graphic Video of Horse Slaughter In Russia Goes Viral: Leads To Face Book Event & Petition

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“My sincere apologies, this should have been posted several days ago, when I first learnt about it; but as usual, pain stopped me from completing it on time. Some of you have probably heard of this brutal video doing the rounds on the internet, some may have even tried to watch the graphic video! However, I’m posting this to achieve more signatures for the petition & to invite people to join the Face Book Event; written & posted by Julie Jo on Facebook.” 

“With regard to Face Book Events, some people may misunderstand the actual meaning & think they have to attend the event in person! True, some FB Events are arranged to hold meetings or protests etc. for people who live local to that event area. But the majority of Events, are simply invites, from FB friends, (in this case Julie) to promote such things as petition signing & emailing pre-written letters; all of which are usually to be sent or completed by a certain date! That’s what this Event invite is about;  signing petitions & sending a pre-written letter to the email addresses provided!!”

“Here is one of the first actual news post’s that I have seen regarding the video, of which the links to the petition & video are provided within, but I will post separately to ensure they are seen.”

After a video showing violent killing of horses in a Russian slaughterhouse was posted to YouTube last month, an online petition has been launched to ask for stopping the cruelty.

Warning: Extremely Graphic Video content. Viewer’s discretion strongly advised. Please Do Not watch the video if you are sensitive to scenes of violence or torture.

The video, posted on February 26, bears the title “Russian Race Horses Brutally Slaughtered for Sausage” and comes with the warning of having very graphic content. The video description reads: “The world needs to see the extreme brutality horses are suffering in Russia.” Horses in the video are shown hammered on their heads repeatedly with sledgehammers inside the slaughterhouse as they drag themselves about the place.

“This is the most inhuman act I have ever witnessed,” reads the petition letter on Change.org, addressed to the Delegation of the European Union to Russia. “Every horse slaughterhouse I’ve seen has been violently abusive and this is beyond comprehension.”

The petition has received close to 9800 signatures to date and aims at getting over 10, 000 more to reach its goal of 20, 000 signatures in support of the cause.Earlier this month, Seattle Pi published a story about animal rights advocates’ condemnation of the recent legislature in Oklahoma that would allow the slaughter of horses for human consumption.

As noted by the Activist Post, producing horse meat has legally remained banned in the US since 2007, though early this month it was reported that USDA was set to allow horse slaughter in the US, starting with a New Mexico horse slaughterhouse in the next few months.

News Linkhttp://www.digitaljournal.com/article/345913#ixzz2NvKdYhYP

“There isn’t much known about the video location, or the date the it was taken, only that it was taken somewhere in a Russia. When long time animal advocate, Julie Jo saw the video, she immediately decided to make a petition; due to the horrific & brutal content. Where ever this slaughter-house is in Russia, something has to be done & fast…hence the petition & FB Event. Horses have always been a part of my life, so I knew it wouldn’t be easy to watch the video…it took me several attempts, to actually look at the screen, the audio was bad enough. Now, having seen & spilled many tears over it, I have to say, it is the most brutal, savage, gruesome & most distressing video, of horse slaughter I have ever seen; it quite simply can’t & shouldn’t be allowed to carry on, in a civilised society!!”

“Therefore this video has to be exposed, people must be educated & made aware of the horrific & Neanderthal techniques used to stun & kill horses. For those who can’t watch the video, of which I suspect there are many, I will try to explain the content, which is still very distressing to read. But the only way to get this stopped; is by getting the right peoples attention. So please, will you help by signing the petitions & emailing the letter below.”

“The quality of the video isn’t very good (which I’m thankful for) this could suggest, the video may have been taken several years ago; it is also very noisy. One can see several horses, in a concrete building, some stood around waiting to be slaughtered, others already down & bleeding out. Other horses not yet unconscious or down, are trying to get back up, yet slipping in all directions; due to the blood soaked floor of their fellow equines. Men wait with sledgehammers or axes (turned to use the wooden part of the head) for the next horses to be walked in. There are horses waiting near what looks like a gated area, who are in full view of what is happening! There appears to be no order or process to the system, nobody is wearing aprons, gloves or the usual attire associated with a legal slaughter-house; this could mean this is not a legitimate slaughter-plant.”

“The bewildered & frightened horses, are each lead to one of the heartless bastards, who with little thought or aim, uses brute force to smash the sledgehammer or axe into the horse’s head. There is no skilled technique, nor restraints used, to hold the horse’s head still. Horses being flight animals, constantly shift position, trying to escape the blow’s of the hammer. One of the horses with a rope around its neck, is wrapped around a post & pulled tight, the horse can be heard gasping as the rope around his neck gets tighter, he can’t move as freely now, so another aim is taken. Few go down with the first poorly aimed blow, which results in the dazed & confused horses, trying to take flight again. They try in vain to stand, only to be repeatedly bludgeoned about the head, until they go down. The second they are down, their throats are slit; meaning they could still be fully conscious, when bled out!” 

“The following is a Face Book Event, written by Julie Jo; simply copied & pasted to here!”

This is QUICK and SIMPLE guys

Please send the sample letter to the provided contacts and sign petitions. Share this event as far and wide as possible.

Thank you for your participation. Julie Jo

Letter will be sent to:
Delegation of the European Union to Russia, EU Member States embassies in Moscow, Human Rights Focal Point, Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance, Vladimir Putin, Martin Schulz, EU@UN social media webmaster, the EU@UN headquarters in NY and Nationwide Media

PLEASE SIGN THE FOLLOWING:

Now, please copy & paste the following email addresses into the “TO”  section of a new email; then copy & paste the sample letter below into the body of your email & send; don’t forget to add your name.

NEWSMANAGER@FOXNEWS.COM, poter1996@yandex.ru, len@cspa.spb.ru, kotyonok9@rambler.ru, vita-russia@yandex.ru, grina@pm.convex.ru, trikitainfo@yandex.ru, shila.patel@eeas.europa.eu, moskau-ob@bmeia.gv.at, bulemrus@bolgaria.ru, moscow@embassy.mzv.cz, emb.moskva@mfa.ee, embassymoscow@dfa.ie, embassy.russia@mfa.gov.lv, moscou.amb@mae.etat.lu, mos@minbuza.nl, moscovo@mne.pt, emb.moscow@mzv.sk, moscow@britishembassy.ru, moscow@diplobel.fed.be, moscowembassy@mfa.gov.cy, mowamb@um.dk, sanomat.mos@formin.fi, emb@mosk.diplo.de, mission.mow@kum.hu, embitaly.mosca@esteri.it, amb.ru@urm.lt, moskwa.amb.sekretariat@msz.gov.pl, ambasada@orc.ru, vmo@gov.si, ambassaden.moskva@foreign.ministry.se, info@svfk.mcx.ru, DELEGATION-RUSSIA-HRFOCALPOINT@eeas.europa.eu, Delegation-Russia@eeas.europa.eu, delegation-new-york@eeas.europa.eu, vita-russia@yandex.ru, helen@cspa.spb.ru,

SAMPLE LETTER:

SUBJECT: Your Assistance Is Needed

To Whom It May Concern:

There is a video which has gone viral across the world of horses being slammed in the head with hammers. It comes from a film taken at a horse slaughterhouse in Russia. People concerned with animal welfare have seen this and a team of international animal activists will make sure everyone else does too. There is no law in Russia about the status of animals and we are requesting that you adopt such a law on the domestic, farm and wild animals.

These violent attacks on animals is beyond cruelty. This you cannot deny.

Here in this video link you will see the torture these horses endure:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=K55sIk-c5Hk

I believe after witnessing the acts for yourself you find it within your power to bring an immediate halt to such vicious actions.

Sincerely

(YOUR NAME)

CONTACT LINKS:- “Are just web pages that have their own email client, so all you have to do is fill in the details requested, then just copy & paste the above letter into the pre-addressed email & send, please remember to sign the letter first!” 

http://eng.letters.kremlin.ru/send

https://www.secure.europarl.europa.eu/aboutparliament/en/cites.html

Last name, first name, street number, zip code, country, phone, email….http://russische-botschaft.de/servicemenu/kontakt.html

Russian Federation Washington DC
2650 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20007
Phone: (202) 298-5700
Fax: (202) 298-5735

MEDIA CONTACTS: “Are also web pages that have their own email client, so all you have to do is fill in the details requested, then just copy & paste the above letter into the pre-addressed email box. For FB contacts, please just click on the page link, click the “message” link near the top of the page, & copy the letter into it; just as you would normally when sending a message to a FB friend” 

Jane Velez Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jane-Velez-Mitchell/112718642114388

Jane Velez Show: http://www.cnn.com/feedback/forms/form5.html?106

CNN: http://edition.cnn.com/feedback/tips/

CNN: https://www.facebook.com/cnninternational

ABC7NEWS: https://www.facebook.com/abc7news

CBS Morning: https://www.facebook.com/CBSThisMorning

CBS Evening: https://www.facebook.com/CBSEveningNews

CNN Connect the World: https://www.facebook.com/CNNconnect

60 Minutes: https://www.facebook.com/60minutes

USA TODAY: https://www.facebook.com/usatoday

CBS: http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/feedback/fb_news_form.shtml

USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/contactus/

“I wrote to World Horse Welfare regards the video & received the following reply; please note: the above letter has already incorporated the website addresses from the link below (so please don’t include them again)”

Dear Jules,

Many thanks for taking the time to get in touch with us about this.  We are absolutely disgusted by the terrible abuse shown in this footage and deplore such abhorrent treatment.

People who know and love horses are especially aware of what sensitive, social and intelligent creatures they are, which makes the appalling actions shown in this clip all the more reprehensible.

We are getting in touch with our contacts in Russia to make them aware of the practices reported to be taking place in slaughterhouses there and ask for improvements.

We would strongly encourage you to also contact an animal welfare society which is based in Russia and approved by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA).

The following link will take you to the contact details of a list of such societies: http://www.wspa.org.uk/members/findmember/MemberSocietyForCountry.aspx?country=Russia&country_go.x=3&country_go.y=4

I hope the above information is helpful for you and thank you again for taking the time to contact us about it.

Best regards,

Jamie Walker

Communications Assistant – World Horse Welfare

“If anyone knows the Russian dialect being spoken on the video & can understand what is being said or has any other information that can help find this slaughter-house in Russia, please contact Julie Jo, on the Face Book Event page:-https://www.facebook.com/events/515641068481409/?fref=ts

“The more information we have, the better chance we stand of getting this brutal Horse slaughter, brought to the attention of the relevant governing bodies; who can stop it or at the very least ensure standards are brought into line, with other slaughter houses. No animal, especially horses, deserves to be bludgeoned to death!!

Russian Race Horses Brutally Slaughtered for sausage.WARNING VERY GRAPHIC.

Published on 26 Feb 2013

THE WORLD NEEDS TO SEE THE EXTREME BRUTALITY HORSES ARE SUFFERING IN RUSSIA. THIS IS STRICTLY TO BRING AWARENESS TO THE SUFFERING AND TORTURE OF HORSES IN RUSSIA.
PLEASE SHARE WIDELY FOR AWARENESS !! RETIRED RACE HORSES ARE SLAUGHTERED IN RUSSIA ! Published on Feb 24, 2013Retired from the races and runs, culled from the stud farms, “wrung out” after the horse rental business is just waiting for slaughter. The structure of many meat products added minced horses … In order to reduce the price of the final product, to make it less fat, etc. But the manufacturer does not advertise his secret lovers of the final product, to make it less fat, etc. But the manufacturer does not advertise his secret lovers meatballs

Face Book Event: Please Help Rescue Tania The Elephant From A Small Concrete Enclosure In Romania

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“There is a Face Book event happening, to help a lonely elephant be transferred to a sanctuary, which I am hoping you can all help with. All you have to do is 3 things:-

  1. Sign 1 petition (below)
  2. Send a letter (template below) to some email addresses (below)
  3. Send a letter (template below) to some links (links are pre-addressed email web pages, so just copy & paste the template letter into the “comment or mail” section on the web page & fill in your details in the sections provided.

Or if you have Face Book Account, you can just click on the picture of Tania below which will take you to the event page!”

“Many people who are not familiar with Face Book, may think ‘Events’ such as this, have to be attended in person. True some Events are about attending a function or protest in person; but most are like the one below, which just means that you are invited to send a letter & sign a petition for a particular cause!”

“Posting for & on behalf of my dear friend & animal advocate Julie Jo – Face Book – Copied as is from the link below”

Face Book Event:-https://www.facebook.com/events/530616983650177/?ref=3

Monday, 20 May 2013

Tania At The Targu-Mures Zoo in Romania.

ACTION TAKEN BY YOU FOR THIS EVENT:
Please send sample letter to emails and links provided, and sign 1 petition.

Thank you everyone for your participation.

Letters will be sent to:

World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Romanian Embassy’s, Head of the Press Office, Director for the Media and European Parliament Spokesman, Independent Times Media, Court of Justice of the European Union, Council of the European Union and European Parliament Agriculture and Rural Development.

It is CRUCIAL that all these emails be sent for this to happen.
_____________________________________________________________________________

ABOUT TANIA:

Tania is a 37-year-old elephant suffering a life of solitary confinement in a 90 square foot area at the Targu-Mures Zoo in Romania. She was transferred from an Italian zoo in September 2012. At a young age she was sent to a zoo in France where she appears to have lived for more than 20 years. Tania is confined alone showing signs of distress due to not having enough space. She is confined to only 90 sq ft with no adequate habitat to fit her needs. It is appalling by the amount of space provided to her. Tania has no where near the amount of space needed whether she is inside or outside, the place is too small for ANY elephant. Even 10,000 sq ft. is not enough for an elephant. Please read the sample letter for the remaining information on her.
_____________________________________________________________________________

PETITION to sign pleasehttp://www.thepetitionsite.com/755/337/604/help-to-get-tania-out-of-the-tirgu-mares-zoo/

_____________________________________________________________________________

EMAIL – Copy & paste the following email addresses & add the template letter below:
SG-PLAINTES@ec.europa.eu; jaume.duch@europarl.europa.eu; efca@efca.europa.eu; Office@roembus.org; acsbucharest@state.gov; newseditor@independent.co.uk; drp@gov.ro

SUBJECT: Your Assistance is Needed

SAMPLE LETTER:

To Whom It May Concern:

I have just learned of Tania an Asian elephant at the Trgu Mures Zoo whom is confined alone showing signs of distress due to not having enough space. She is confined to only 90 sq ft with no adequate habitat to fit her needs. It is appalling by the amount of space provided to her. Tania has no where near the amount of space needed whether she is inside or outside, the place is too small for any elephant. Even 10,000 sq ft. is not enough for her.

Due to extreme cold winters in Romania Tania is cooped up for six months at a time, which drives them insane, whether keepers are there or not. This has added acceleration to the deterioration of her feet. No vet can correct this as long as she cannot move, even in the small outside enclosure. Her feet will eventually kill her. Even though she is alone nothing can be solved by bringing in other elephants because there is not enough room for her and if they don’t get along one could be killed.

I would also like to address Tania’s insecure fencing. If electrified it could kill her and if not she could easily bolt out and the public could be in great danger. If they are unable to provide the proper security for her it could result in her being chained and leading to mental anguish. Signs of this would be swaying and bobbing which she already does.

Tania has shown too many signs of distress as you can see in the video links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-egOg_ROYSw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ar4xl_6BhEo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6ce99fZzg4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgeatP7qX-U
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oI__NLJsiPM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pisaO4v9FGM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLVJpFursU8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1Y95ZFBEJQ

This link is to give you an idea of the habitat size required for an animal this large:

http://www.elephantpepper.org/downloads/Concept%20of%20home%20range.pdf

I ask that Tania be given the life every elephant deserves, one of freedom. As you are aware, thousands of people are horrified at her treatment, and even though new, they are inadequate facilities for Tania. I ask the authorities in control of her be made to let advocates transfer her to a sanctuary.

Yours faithfully

Add your name

Add your Country

Please copy & paste the above letter into the pre-addressed links below:-

CONTACT LINKS:

Court of Justice of the European Union:
http://curia.europa.eu/jcms/jcms/T5_5133/

World Association of Zoos and Aquariums FB:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/World-Association-of-Zoos-and-Aquariums/103849909693281

European Parliament Agriculture and Rural Development Vasilica Viorica Dancila:
https://www.facebook.com/viorica.dancila

Citizens Inquirey: https://www.secure.europarl.europa.eu/aboutparliament/en/cites.html (CONFIRM IN EMAIL)

Romanian Embassy Facebook/Message:
https://www.facebook.com/romanian.embassy

EUROPE DIRECT- (EU CITIZENS ONLY)
http://europa.eu/europedirect/write_to_us/mailbox/index_en.htm

EU Law:  http://ec.europa.eu/eu_law/your_rights/your_rights_forms_en.htm

ROMANIAN EMBASSY’S: http://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-of/romania

Council of the European Union:
http://www.consilium.europa.eu/contacts/info-public.aspx?lang=en#form

Thank you x

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