Animal Profile: Be Kind to Fish

Care of Bonnie Shulman   Photo care of Farm Sanctuary and Cindy Seigle Since the dawn of time people have been catching and eating fish without giving the fish a second thought, as though they were inanimate objects, as though being drowned in air was not a big deal to the fish. All that desperate flapping of their fins onboard fishing boats – that doesn’t mean a thing to many people. But now, the fish are talking back with more than just their fins. Their voices, mute for thousands of years, are being channelled by Peter Singer, renowned Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University and Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne. If you haven’t read his essay, “If Fish Could Scream”, then you really should. You can find it here. His thesis is that there is no humane slaughter requirement for wild fish caught and killed at sea, nor for farmed fish. The thing is, humans catch and kill over two trillion fish a year, dumping them on board trawler boats where they suffocate, or impaling them on live-bait hooks. And here’s where it gets really ugly, as if that number wasn’t bad enough. Nervous systems… Read More

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Animal Profile: Thank a Turkey

Care of Bonnie Shulman    Rescued turkeys at Farm Sanctuary Turkeys are perhaps the least known of all farmed animals, because to most people they come wrapped tightly in the grocery store, as though they were never living beings at all. Any resemblance to a once-living bird has been pulverized out of the sanitized package shoppers delightfully pick up, wondering if this or that one is “big enough” for the holiday gathering. The answer is of course yes: turkeys are bred to be huge. Meet a turkey on a farm sanctuary and you’ll probably never eat another one again in your life. That’s because turkeys are fabulously gregarious with each other, and so sensitive that they even blush. They dance, jump, flap, and celebrate together.  They crave human affection.  In the springtime, when mating season comes around, male turkeys, also called “Tom Turkeys” or “Gobblers”, puff up and spread their tail feathers (just like a peacock). They make that famous “gobble gobble” sound and shake their feathers.  This helps the male attract females for mating.  Residents of Muskoka can often see wild turkeys in the evening, darting quickly across the dirt roads of cottage country. When the moon rises, wild… Read More

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