Showing posts with label animal advocates. Show all posts
Showing posts with label animal advocates. Show all posts

Saturday 16 March 2024

How did Henry Bergh, the founder of the first SPCA in North America, spend his life?

This week, 136 years ago, the animals lost a great friend. On March 12, 1888, Henry Bergh, the founder of the first SPCA in North America, died. For two decades, Bergh had taken to the streets to protect animals. 

How did Henry Bergh, the founder of the first SPCA in North America spend his life?
Henry Bergh. Image believed to be in the public domain.

This is how he described his life as an animal advocate of his time. 

“Day after day, I am in slaughterhouses; or lying in wait at midnight with a squad of police near some dog pit; through the filthy markets and about the rotten docks; out into the crowded and dangerous streets; lifting a fallen horse to his feet, and perhaps sending the driver before a magistrate; penetrating dark and unwholesome buildings where I inspect collars and saddles for raw flesh; then lecturing in public schools to children, and again to adult Societies. Thus my whole life is spent.”

The above comes from Nathan Winograd's newsletter.

Below is from Bing's co-pilot. 

Henry Bergh, born on August 29, 1813, in New York City, led a remarkable life dedicated to animal welfare and the protection of children. Here are the key aspects of his impactful journey:

  1. Founding the ASPCA:

    • In April 1866, just three days after the first effective legislation against animal cruelty was passed in the United States by the New York State Legislature, Henry Bergh founded the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
    • His mission was clear: to ensure that animals received kind and respectful treatment from humans and were protected under the law 2.
    • Bergh assumed the role of ASPCA president and provided initial funding for the organization alongside his wife.
  2. Championing Animal Rights:

    • During his stay in Europe, Bergh witnessed various cruelties committed upon animals, which deeply affected him.
    • In England, he met Lord Harrowby, the president of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, who emphasized the importance of Bergh’s mission.
    • Inspired by this encounter, Bergh dedicated the rest of his life to the cause of ending animal cruelty.
  3. Additional Advocacy Efforts:

    • Bergh’s impact extended beyond animals. He also played a crucial role in founding the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in 1874.
    • His commitment to humane treatment extended to both animals and children, emphasizing compassion and protection.
  4. Background and Career:

    • Henry Bergh hailed from a wealthy New York family. His father, Christian Bergh III, was a successful shipbuilder.
    • Bergh joined his father’s shipbuilding business, C. Bergh & Co., and inherited a substantial estate upon his father’s death in 1843.
    • He attended Columbia College in New York City but left before completing his degree, choosing instead to tour Europe for five years.
    • In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln appointed him secretary of the U.S. legation in Tsarist Russia, where he served in St. Petersburg as acting vice-consul/

Henry Bergh’s legacy as a pioneer in animal advocacy and child protection endures, shaping the compassionate treatment of both animals and vulnerable members of society. 🐾🌟

Thursday 25 May 2023

Animal advocate Chris Packham has successfully sued Country Squire Magazine for defamation

Animal advocate Chris Packham has successfully sued Country Squire Magazine for defamation and was awarded £90,000 compensation plus more than £500,000 in an interim costs payment.

Update: Here he is:

Chris Packham
Chris Packham. Photo Garry Knight from London, England - People's Walk for Wildlife 2018 - 04

Chris Packham is a well-known British animal advocate. He is high-profile. He fights for animal welfare. He claimed that he was libelled by a hunting publisher and he managed to crowd fund enough money to sue that publisher for defamation. He alleged that the publisher instigated a campaign of online abuse against him. He alleged that Fieldsports Channel created articles that he faked a death threat to himself.

He also sued the Country Squire Magazine. There appears to be a connection between Country Squire Magazine and the Fieldsports Channel. I can't find the connection on the Internet but it must exist. Are they one and the same legal entity? Update a few days later: I think it is because Mr Bean writes for this channel and he is a supporter of sport hunting. This in fact is why he hates Chris Packham so much. This is about Packham being against sport hunting and Bean and his co-defendant being pro-sport hunting.

As mentioned, he successfully sued Country Squire Magazine for defamation and the judge awarded him £90,000 in compensation plus more than £500,000 in costs. This was an interim costs order and therefore the overall award for legal costs is going to be higher than that.

As is not unusual, the judge's award for costs far exceeds the award for damages (compensation).

The compensation for libel damages (libel is a written form of deformation whereas slander is a verbal form of deformation) includes compensation for:

  • Accusations that he lied in order to persuade people to donate money to a wildlife sanctuary
  • Pursuing an agenda or campaign against Mr Packham and those who share his views which "focused on alleging fraud and dishonesty without any proper evidential basis".
  • Accusations that he defrauded and manipulated people an attempt to raise funds for the Wildheart Trust which is a wildlife sanctuary on the Isle of Wight.
  • Accusations that he lied when he said that gamekeepers on two Scottish estates were burning peat during the 2021 UM cup 26 a conference in Glasgow.
  • Accusations that he acted fraudulently (was a fraud) and a "notorious liar" and as having an "obvious nastiness" and accusing him of playing the "Asperger's victim card".

Packham was successful in suing two defendants, Dominic Wightman and asset manager who is the editor of Country Squire Magazine and the writer Nigel Bean.

During litigation the defendants - the men named above - had indicated that they intended to put on the record in the litigation that Packham was a "rapist, a bully, and a pervert" despite there not being a shred of evidence to support this in order to try and scare Packham off from litigation. 

The judge said that this misbehaviour from the defendants is reflected in the damages awarded against them and that they will pay a higher proportion of Packham's costs than usual which are called indemnity costs.

The Country Squire Magazine has issued an apology on their website subsequent to this court judgement. They might struggle to pay these heavy costs combined with the damages. I don't know the resources of this magazine but if they going to have to pay more than £600,000 it's going to be painful at least and I wonder whether it might close the magazine.

Monday 22 May 2023

Anal electrocution of animals in fur trade. Protest outside Dior.

LVMH owns Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Dior and other fashion brands. PETA tells me that they refuse to embrace faux fur to meet the demands of informed and compassionate consumers and continue to deal with real fur traders. The fur trade is viciously cruel. 

Anal electrocution of animals in fur trade
Anal electrocution of animals in fur trade. Screenshot.

It doesn't matter how you look at it. The whole concept is horrendous to any decent-minded person. China is the biggest producer and they treat their animals appallingly. It's bad enough to take the skin off the back of animals for f**k**g fashion but to kill them in the most appalling way is shameful, unforgivable and the work of the devil.

This protest took place this month. The tweet is dated May 16th, 2023.

PETA tells me that many animals on fur farms "slowly go insane and even self-mutilate from the stress of intensive confinement."

They say that an investigation into Italian fur farms revealed several injured minks as well as dead minks left inside cages to rot. The survivors were killed by gassing.

On a fur farm in Norway, investigators found six fox cubs confined to a cage with their dead and rotting mother. Foxes are devoted parents and mother foxes commit themselves to protecting their babies.

I can go on and on and on about the cruelty of the fur trade and it is the same no matter where you look. And the bosses at LVMH won't stop dealing in real fur. I've just visited a Dior products website. I don't know whether the fur coats were vintage or modern. It didn't say. But I'm told that they still produce fur garments.

What is sad for me, is that videos on YouTube and on Twitter of these protests don't get enough views. This tells me that not enough people are genuinely interested in protecting the animals from this horrendous cruelty. Perhaps Dior and their masters know this. They know that there is an apathy in the world about the fur trade and perhaps even animal abuse generally. That is why they can get away with it and brush the protesters aside.

The only way to beat it is to continually press and harass until they finally change their ways. Some people say that the big fashion houses have already changed their ways but clearly, they haven't. For example, one website asks "Are anti-fur protesters hopelessly out of touch?"

What on earth do they mean? There article was written in 2018. Protesters against fur farming will never be out of touch until it stops for good. The video on this page is horrendous. There's a guy on a megaphone telling people that the fur farm businesses electrocute the animals who give up their skin by sticking a probe up their anus or their vagina. I mean what in heavens name is going on in the world if humankind allows that to happen? It's just totally sick and all for the sake of fashion.

And here is another thing: the people, normally women who wear these garments are equally to blame. Why aren't they shunning these garments once and for all? They are accessories to what I would argue is a serious and mass crime. Of course, it is not a crime technically in most (all?) countries but in a better world it would have been. It is certainly deeply immoral.

Tuesday 25 April 2023

2023 Carole Baskin and Nathan Winograd are America's two top animal advocates

I am going to have the temerity to name America's two greatest animal welfare advocates as at 2023. They are Carole Baskin and Nathan Winograd. And neatly, we can divide their efforts into two camps. 

Carole Baskin is an animal advocate for cats, specifically the big cats, wild cats in general and even wildcat hybrids (she hates the idea of creating wildcat hybrids). 

And on the domestic cat side, Nathan Winograd, has been and continues to be a tireless campaigner for the rights of rescue animals in America's shelters and pounds.

Baskin and Winograd
Baskin and Winograd. Image: MikeB based in images in the public domain.

Carole Baskin

You might know that she campaigned relentlessly for an improvement in welfare of big cats. There were far too many at private zoos all across America. America was and still is - until the Big Public Safety Act fully takes effect - the nation where there were the greatest number of big cat 'pets' in private zoos.

Join us in celebrating the passage of the Big Cat Public Safety Act which banned contact with big cats and their cubs, and phases out private ownership of big cats! We have campaigned for this change since the 90s and on Dec. 20, 2022 it was signed into law!  This is the first step to saving wild cats, in the wild, where they belong. - Carole Baskin on BCR at May 2023.

There are an estimated 20,000 big cats kept in private ownership in the US. Carole Baskin's rescue center in Florida, Big Cat Rescue (BCR), picked up some of the pieces of bad big cat ownership. 

With her job effectively done she is now selling BCR and finding alternative outlets for her passion to improve animal welfare. The substantial money that she will raise will be used in projects I understand.

Carole Baskin, almost single-handedly, instigated and forced through the enactment of the Big Cat Safety Act in the UK. It is she who has saved the abuse of so many cubs from roadside tiger and lion cub petting sessions. 

And the abuse that followed with the adults becoming commercially useless beyond a certain age so what happened to them? They were probably euthanised.

The horrible exploitation of big cubs has ended. Although Carole Baskin is the prime mover and shaker in ending the private ownership of big cats in America, we have to thank indirectly a man who is currently in jail for conspiracy to murder Carole Baskin. His name is Joe Exotic. He was the biggest private zoo owner in America at one time.

He hates Carole Baskin because she was so strongly against his kind of operation. His presence motivated her. He hated her so much that he conspired to kill her. And he was found out and was successfully prosecuted for that conspiracy and animal abuse offences.

Carole Baskin triumphed over the private zoo brigade. What a woman.

Big Cat Safety Act

Registration: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of America announced on 18 April 2023 that individuals who own big cats which includes cougars and hybrids of the species must register them with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service by the end of the day on June 18, 2023. That is in order to comply with the requirements of that act.

Current owners can keep their animals provided they are registered as per the act and provided that they abide by state and federal regulations. But once the animal's life has ended, that person will no longer be able to own and/or possess a big cat.

The act allows existing owners to continue with ownership until their zoo inventory no longer exists because of the end of the lifespans of these animals.  Of course, it does not apply to bona fide zoos and other authorized establishments.  It applies to John Doe, the individual who fancies possessing a big cat.

Nathan Winograd

He is a great man who has fought tirelessly for a no-kill policy in all of America's animal shelters and pounds. He believes that it is possible for an animal shelter to greatly improve their rehoming of animals in their charge. 

He believes that it is possible to not euthanise any or hardly any animals at shelters (90% save rate is the target) provided the administrators use all means possible to both prevent taking in rescue animals and facilitate the adoption of those animals.

By preventing intake, I don't mean physically preventing it. I mean that they should do all they can to improve cat and dog ownership in the area where they operate. There are two sides to the cat and dog rescue situation. 

There are those that abandon their cats and dogs when they don't need to or they shouldn't and there are those that don't adopt those cats and dogs because they're rather buy a purebred cat or not adopt.

It's down to the people involved in organising animal shelters to tackle both those challenges in my view. In the UK, for instance, there has been a surge in adoptions i.e. purchases of purebred cats over rescue cats during 2022. According to Cats Protection, 38% of people adopted cats during 2022 adopted a purebred cat.

The point is this though that Nathan Winograd continues through his newsletters, speeches and website to improve the running of animal shelters in America to save lives.


There is one aspect of Mr Winograd's argument that I disagree with, however. He hates PETA and believes that it is an organisation which kills cats unnecessarily. Winograd and PETA have entirely different point of view on some important aspects of animal rescue. I think they should work together by finding common ground.

However, both PETA and Winograd have very strong views which means that it is unlikely they will be able to find common ground.

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