Dear Members and Friends,
I received a grief-stricken letter from an animal protection colleague last night. As she was tearfully reflecting on the killing of more than 20 children at Sandy Hook School in Connecticut (USA) last week, she wrote: I want to say what I am not allowed to say: The shooting of children in the school is no different from the killing of animals in slaughterhouses. All are our children.
She is probably right that many people would find the comparison of those children to our slaughtered animals in poor taste. But why? I think possibly because we are so accustomed to considering ourselves not just a “different” species but a better species.
For some, it may be possible to open up their hearts to imagine life inside a battery cage, gestation crate or a slaughterhouse and be as injured as when they hear the news of this depravity in the gunning down of children at school.
For these special people, All are Innocents. Each is unique and vulnerable. As we pray or grieve for the tiny angels who perished in Connecticut last week, let us also strengthen our resolve to end violence in our lives, and live more compassionately, ever more.
2 JOBS at FIAPO. We are now recruiting for a movement building coordinator and a campaign coordinator – as our work and programmes expand to various cities and campaigns. Job description and application details here http://fiapo.org/view_news.php?viewid=12220 http://fiapo.org/view_news.php?viewid=12219
Fruits of Collaboration: Members of Jaipur FAPO, met with an executive member of AWBI last week, along with representatives from animal protection organisations from other parts of Rajasthan. We talked about how AWBI could support the local federation, and its members and campaigns. It was useful to present a single interface to animal protection organisations through the FAPO.
The meeting for exploring collaboration in Kerala takes place on the 4th Jan in Kochi. Expert campaigners and researchers from other parts of the country are participating to help us local protectionists to strengthen existing effort. You can download the agenda http://fiapo.org/view_art.php?viewid=12289 Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details and to attend.
IfA 2012 was permeated by the warmth and exhilaration of activists meeting each other and exchanging energy and support. Feedback is now in, and we’ve compiled a wee report, which you can download along with the delegate list here http://fiapo.org/view_art.php?viewid=12287
Living Free: From Udaipur, there is feedback on using videos as a method of outreach – whilst you may reach out to lesser people, it is profoundly moving for some. Then, Jaipur, leafleting with Jaipur FAPO at colleges. The good thing about outreach, is that you can – we all can – choose the way we want to reach out with our message of compassion to others. Films screenings, leafleting, stalls, food tasting events, talks, workshops, fairs, camps – there’s plenty of diversity. To get active in your own city, get in touch http://www.fiapo.org/view_news.php?viewid=12129
Recently through our ever vigilant network of animal protectionists, we found out that camels and horses were being ill treated near the Taj Mahal in Agra. These animals were giving rides to tourists, being overworked, beaten and not provided with adequate food, water or shelter. We have written to the UP State Tourism Department to take immediate action. More here http://fiapo.org/view_news.php?viewid=12284
Puja writes: Our webpage has now been refreshed with more campaign information, and on captive dolphins. It is now well documented that commonly kept cetacean species like the Bottlenose Dolphin, suffer immensely in captivity. Their extraordinary intelligence works against them, as humans turn them into clowns for entertainment. These playful and social creatures have strong and complex family structures in the wild. They learn how to survive from their mothers and travel long distances to hunt, mate or interact with other family pods. In captivity, all these natural processes are aborted, and they are forced to adjust within a short time, to living without their family groups, in small-chlorinated tanks while being deprived of food to make them learn tricks for our viewing pleasure. It is now well documented, that Dolphins suffer immensely in captivity and escape the first chance they get, every time. See our new webpage here http://www.fiapo.org/dolphin.php
A news report shared on our google groups highlighted OTDC’s plan on constructing Dinosaur models in the Chilika lagoon. Taking immediate action, we lodged our protest with OTDC and news on the grapevine that due to the pressure from animal and environmental groups, these plans will most likely be scrapped. http://fiapo.org/view_news.php?viewid=12293
In the last issue of the newsletter, we carried a story about a group in Ahemdabad who were ordered by the court to pay a fine of Rs 3 lakhs for rescuing goats just before Bakr Eid. http://fiapo.org/view_news.php?viewid=12210 We received calls and emails from many concerned protectionists across the country in solidarity, and we have now got a copy of the court order and are seeking support for this case, working with Prayas locally. Bacchu Bhai, whom I spoke to from the Ahemdabad group, was chuffed by the fellowship alone.
According to a report in The Seattle Times (USA) http://fiapo.org/view_news.php?viewid=12292 earlier this month, elephants, including Indian elephants in captivity throughout America are dying at alarming rates from conditions linked to their captivity itself.
The writers report that in a 2005 meeting of representatives from zoos housing elephants they admitted that the deaths had reached “crisis proportions” yet agreed to speak in a united voice and claim that zoo elephants throughout the country were “thriving.” Perhaps zookeepers who deliberately mislead the public they claim to be educating should be the ones behind bars, not the animals.
We Care Srinagar: In this recent We Care Srinagar article Shaping a Dog, author Steve Goward describes what, in his experience, shapes a dog's attitude and behaviour. Because they are in close proximity with humans most of the time, Steve reckons that a large part is actually in our own hands. The full article, as published in Kashmir Images, here http://www.fiapo.org/view_news.php?viewid=12016
Worldwide Veterinary Service India wants to encourage veterinarians and animal welfare organisations all around India to campaign for mass-rabies vaccination of dogs. An annual rabies vaccination month focusing especially in rural / small town areas and using door-to-door -approach can effectively increase the rabies vaccination coverage and protect lives of thousands of animals and people. Mission Rabies 2013 will be launched in September 2013 – volunteers are welcome to join this drive to vaccinate 50 000 dogs across India. http://fiapo.org/view_art.php?viewid=12288
In focus: Worldwide Veterinary Service India (WVS India)
WVS India runs an International Training Center (ITC) in the Nilgiris district Tamil Nadu where hundreds of veterinarians have been trained in best practices in animal birth control (ABC) surgeries. The ITC aims to bring together animal charities and sanctuaries to pool resource and create a community focused on teaching best practice techniques and providing advice and support.
More here http://fiapo.org/view_news.php?viewid=12291
On facebook we are seeing incredible compassion response from young men and women aghast at the gang rape of the Delhi victim who is laying in critical condition at this writing. What power of good there is in all of us. We are capable of rising out of the horror of which humanity is capable, and we often do. I read that old people who had suffered from radiation poisoning from the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki volunteered to perform high radiation risk rescue missions after Japan's earthquake last year. Women in Pakistan and Afghanistan have volunteered to remove land mines by hand. In Hebrew Jews say of the Nazi Holocaust, "al tish kak" — let it be not forgotten. Twenty thousand people have now viewed The Plastic Cow video, and many have vowed to help cows and bulls. There is goodness, too. Let us remember it and rejoice.
Help animals in your own way; remember – no action is too small.
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