I am so sad to hear that another Gadhimai Festival will be held in Nepal this November. The festival, which is only about 250 years old, takes place every five years. At the last festival, in 2009, it is estimated that around 500,000 water buffaloes, goats and chickens were slaughtered, having their heads severed in a mass sacrificial killing. Families, including young children, came to watch the bloody spectacle. The sacrificial killing is held to please the goddess Gadhimai, to avert evil and bring prosperity. Animal sacrifice is banned in many Indian states, but people travel from northern India to Nepal with their animals to sacrifice them at the festival.
You may be shocked to find out that not all vets are well trained in rabbits (many can have as little as a two week slot for exotics as a whole including reptiles, birds and small furries). This means that the majority of vets out there have very little knowledge of rabbits needs, behaviours, ailments and how to treat them correctly.
Restrained by chains, isolated from other elephants, kept in bright sunlight on hot concrete that hurts his feet - until it's time to carry the next heavy load of excited tourists on his back, controlled by a bull hook if he should put a foot wrong. Such is the life of an elephant 'working' in entertainment in Asia today.
For the moment, Japan seems intent on launching its plan for a new 'scientific' whaling programme in the Southern Ocean. Whilst it has some allies, the issue drives a wedge between Japan and many other nations. Japan may be able to deflect charges against whaling, including that it is cruel, by casting such criticism as a form of anti-Japanese cultural imperialism. Our only hope is that, given the ICJ ruling is above any rhetoric or politics, perhaps those in power in Japan will be better able to see that commercial whaling is ecologically unsound, uneconomic and, in terms of international relations, disastrous.
Raccoons, badgers and squirrels- each year many millions of animals are trapped and brutally killed in the wild for their fur and hair. I will spare you the soul-eroding statistics of animal deaths on fur-farms and the fate which meets these animals even while still 'living', suffice to say they live in misery.
There are plenty of adorable animals with majestic appearances such as pandas or tigers, however there are also many bizarre looking animals that may not appeal to us humans. Charles Darwin has taught us that animals undergo constant evolutionary selection so that the seemingly disfigured animals are actually naturally adapted to thrive in their habitats.