Animal Matters, No 17: 9th November, 2012

Dear Members and Friends,

Organisational Purity? Can our core values remain firm if our commercial interests hurt animals?, is an online social movement company who enters the inboxes of millions every few days with short pieces, usually incorporating progressive social justice values. Recently, we heard, they decided to change their advertising policy from one which required values in keeping with its editorial slant, to one which is purely corporate.

In the animal protection movement too – many important organizations around the world include board members who are not vegetarian (let alone vegan); some even have business interests which include animal products.

I wonder, when is money “tainted?” It is an important question we need to ask—not only to protect our core values, but because visiting this question helps clarify where we stand as individuals and organizations on the animal welfare-to-rights continuum. If it indeed IS a continuum.

The policy change disappointed me. It has the feel of capitulation to a philosophy that puts money in front of justice. I’ll take my petitions elsewhere.

India for Animals: This time next week, we will be in Goa, and IFA will be underway. We are delighted to have excellent participation this year, and it’s more or less full up. There are more participatory sessions this year, you can download the programme here – we hope it’s the right balance between learning, networking and of course, having a bit of fun.

Holy Cow: Zoos are always pathetic, and here's some tidbits from our despicable Delhi Zoo. The main supplier of meat to the animals of the Delhi Zoo is…ta da! Mother Dairy, according to zoo curator R. Khan.

And what does a dairy have to do with the meat supply chain? Pretty much everything. Half the calves at Mother Dairy – as all dairies – are male and about a hundred percent of them are killed for skin, muscle, sinew, guts. The world wants more meat and leather, and Mother Dairy, has just the raw materials the world is looking for. Think before you drink!

The Ecologist has published a feature story about the abuse of cattle in transport and slaughter, written by Peter Bengsten. India is one of the five largest leather exporters in the world, and that spells terrible news for cows, bulls, buffalos, pigs and goats. Leather always means death. In India, it always also means torture, suffering, violation of laws, massive corruption and, in short, cruelty.

Leather and death go hand in glove. We remind everyone who is attending the IfA Conference in Goa to please refrain from wearing leather at the conference—and we hope you will put it away forever.

Living Free: Outreach continues around India with Dan – he visited Ooty and Kollam over the last couple of weeks – you can read Dan’s adventures here
Also delighted to report, that Hyderabad Vegans – in collaboration with other local groups – are now actively focusing on outreach, and they started with an informational stall on 4th Nov – handing out leaflets, and yummy vegan cupcakes – a crowd puller. Manoj, from Hyderabad Vegans tells us, “The event was a huge success and we reached out to around to 500 people. More than 200 visited the stall and about a 100 signatures were collected. We met at least 10 vegans amongst the crowd!” Plans now for outreach at more events, Hyderabad is on its way to becoming one of the most active cities for reducing animal consumption. To get active in your area, email

Ending Experimentation: This fortnight, we bring you news that the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA) has been reconstituted. The CPCSEA is the central body that regulates the use of animals in research and education. Animal welfare representatives Dr Shiranee Pereira, Norma Alvares and Dr Chinny Krishna continue to be on the new committee as well. This is great news for animals. Read more to understand how you can help the CPCSEA in its mission

Jet Airways has promised PETA-India (in writing!) that it will not transport animals for laboratory experiments.  Many airlines around the world are now observing this policy. But all is not well. Air India has reversed an earlier (August 2012) ban on lab animal transport, and by so doing, they are deliberately complying in an industry which indulges in some of the most ghastly-imaginable practices. Please join Gateway to Hell—The Global Campaign to End Lab Animal Transport—in their vigorous international letter-writing campaign to denounce the policy to Air India executives

We Care Srinagar: The method of mass killing of Indian dogs to check their population was started by the British in the 19th century. This method was continued by all major municipality authorities all over the country until in 1993, when it was proved to be a major failure. Talk to any Mumbaiker today and discover that the dog 'menace' that was once rampant is now no more – *after* mass culling was made illegal. Abodh Aras, CEO of Welfare of Street Dogs (WSD) explains

Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed Punjab, Haryana and Chandigargh to frame schemes for street dog ABC/AR as per the rules framed by the AWBI and the Dog Rules. It appears that the court is acknowledging that while municipal corporations murmur about launching ABC/AR programs, the schemes are not spelled out with regard to timelines and numbers. Perhaps this is a step in the direction of action; at least the newspaper has quoted correctly the government’s rules and laws which inform the government’s duty to street dogs.

Fruits of Collaboration…
Manish writes: Last week, JFAPO organised an ‘All About Animals Day’. 40 children from some of the best schools in Jaipur were taken for a film screening of "Hachikoo", and then to the Help in Suffering shelter to interact, and learn about animals.
It was one of the most enjoyable Sundays spent – sharing the joy of spending time with animals – and their protectors – with the young students. There were tears, and lots of laughter, and in the end – students left with a positive outlook towards animals. Photos here

In focus: Vishnu Charitable Trust
This week, we are profiling a unique member organisation. Vishnu Charitable Trust operates two gaushalas in Gurgaon. It works collaboratively with the municipal corporation of Gurgaon, which brings all confiscated animals to the gaushalas. In operation since 2010, the gaushala has the unique distinction of being perhaps the only of its kind in the country that does not sell milk. The focus is on the animals instead of milk. More here

Along with the rest of the world, we too followed the twists and turns of the presidential elections in the US. Some of the supporters of Barack Obama’s opponent, Mitt Romney, thought it was cute to wear shirts that said “Put the ‘white’ back in the White House.” To our knowledge, Romney never publicly denounced this bigoted slogan-mongering. We took that passivity as a sign of consent.

What does this have to do with animals? It relates because the assumption of dominance and in-born superiority lies at the heart of racism and speciesism. Both have resulted in slavery—human and animal.

Trapping, confining, compelling animals is a form of enslavement. We hope through our work, we can help people recognize that slavery is wrong, whatever the species. Barack Obama comes closer than many political leaders to expressing an understanding of the phenomenon of slavery. Now, how can we help him apply his understanding to animals?

Help animals in your own way; remember – no action is too small.

Editorial Team,
Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations
118, Mahabhadrakali Apt, Plot no: 6, Sector 13, Dwarka, New Delhi – 110075.