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(Mods, I wasn't sure where to put this, but I thought it would be a good thread. Please move to wherever you think it goes)

Quite often, I have read threads of members who have friends who don't take care of their animals, or who have visited pet shops that are treating their animals poorly. Many people assume that nothing can be done about it, or no one will listen, etc and that is a HUGE reason why nothing is done. Only when you try to speak up against animal abuse will it ever be stopped.

I just received this e-mail from peta after signing up for an vegetarian starter kit (even though I've been a veggie for months) and I thought I would share it with everyone here.

The horrifying allegations of animal abuse at Michael Vick's property in Virginia have shocked everyone, but just as heartbreaking are the many similar stories that don't make the news. PETA receives thousands of calls and e-mails every year from people who have witnessed animal abuse or neglect. They are desperate to help but don't know what to do. Here are some steps you can take if you observe cruelty to animals:

Find out which agency is responsible for investigating and enforcing anti-cruelty laws in your state, county, or town. This may be a local humane society or a taxpayer-funded animal shelter. In areas without such organizations, citizens should call the police or sheriff's department.

If an animal is in a life-threatening situation, call authorities immediately. Follow up with them in a timely manner to determine their findings and their planned course of action. If they do not respond right away, call PETA at 757-622-7382.

After you contact authorities, prepare a short written statement detailing the key points of what you observed. Give dates, approximate times, and locations. Timely fact-gathering is crucial—the more time that passes, the greater the risk that evidence will disappear, injuries will heal, or you'll forget specific details. Written statements from other witnesses will help back up your observations, and if possible, take pictures and date them—photos or videos will strengthen your case.

Always keep a dated record of everyone you've contacted, along with the content and outcome of your discussions. Never forward a letter, photograph, or other documentation to anyone without first making a copy for your own files. Make it clear to authorities that you wish to pursue the case and that you are willing to lend your assistance if necessary. Be sure to follow up! If you stay involved, authorities are more likely to do the same.

If the first contact doesn't produce results, go straight to a supervisor. If that doesn't work, appeal to local government officials, such as the mayor, the district attorney, or city council members. A call to the media in your area (television and print) can move mountains. Above all, don't give up—you may be an animal's only hope!

Helping abused or neglected animals can be difficult and heart-wrenching, but they are depending on you to take action. Please contact PETA if officials fail to respond quickly to your complaint or if you need guidance or support. Together, we can save even more lives.

Thank you for everything you do for animals.

Very truly yours,
Ingrid Newkirk
Ingrid E. Newkirk
President


Please feel free to add tips on how to fight against animal abuse both in rats as well as other animals. I, personally, would like this to be one of my big issues I will fight against in life. I think rats especially NEED us in this, as many others out there don't see them as valuable as we do. Biggest thing to remember: Keep on pushing, stay calm and as informative as possible, and don't give up! Definitely don't throw in the towel even before the fight starts!
 

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I hate my province.
Really I do, the SPCA in my area is looked down upon for being the FIRST EVER SPCA and calling itself the canadian SPCA, the name has been such for years, anyway people are more inclined to make a huge stink as to where their donations are going than to realize how badly we need help here with our animals rights laws, we have next to nothing for animals here. Its ridiculous, but having read this I know of a guy with a few horses to whom I should pay a visit. I don't even know if the police can get involved in animal cruelty cases here because our province is so backward, we have the highest animal cruelty rating in all of canada if i'm not mistaken, yet our laws are severely inadequate **argghh** i'm going to bed angry tonight lol.
 

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I cant stand how animals are treated. It boils my blood. I have been vegan for about 5 months but have been a vegetarian since birth and you wont believe how many people have told me that being veg. is stupid. Mostly everyone seems to think that the animals are well taken care of and don't suffer. That for what ever reason the suffering is all made up lies. You cant even sell most American milk in Europe because of the amount of puss thats in it. You wont believe how many people tell me that you cant be healthy on a meat free diet. Or make up excusess like, but we have canine teeth, humans always have ate meat, what about the plants feelings, meat is good for us, god gave us the animals to eat, but meat tastes good.
It blows my mind that people really don't care if an animals suffers just for their taste buds. Some people even deny the fact that animals feel pain. Its sick. Then theres the whole Patriot Act and AETA. This put all non violent animal rights activists at risk of being a terrorist. If you seen any animal being abuse in any type of "animal enterprise" and speak out aginst the abuse or even just take pictures of the abuse you will become a terrorist. I cant stand that caring for animals makes me a terrorist but if I beat and and cause an animals loads of unnecessary pain I'm totally an ok and good person.
 

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...hm i can see a bit of an agree to disagree fued brewing here... I eat meat, I'm not shy to admit it, and as much as i love animals I'm not about to stop, but I for one can say that i know that (for the most part, 90%) the animals that i eat have lead a good life because we raise our own beef, generally one or two a year, I don't see anything wrong with that. On the other hand there are companies like KFC that brutally torture the animals before finally killing them and serving them at their restaurant, THAT is just plain ignorant, and not in the stupid sense of the word either.
 

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No offense to anyone but eat meat too and am not going to stop anytime soon. Also, Yesterday I had Tacos and today I ate some Meatloaf...lol..
 

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I wish more people would raise there own. Its good to hear some one actually cares about the animals they eat.
KFC gets most of their chicken from pilgrims pride who is also the major supplier of wal mart and wendys. They also get their chicken form tyson who also supplies taco bell and the rest of yum, mc donalds, burger king, wendys, wal mart, lroger, costco, iga, beef o bradys and various prisons. You have to watch out for all of those not just kfc.

Its not the eating of meat that bothers me. Its that most people could care less about how the animals were treated. I can see how people enjoy the taste of meat there is so many good fake meat products out now. I remeber when I was growing up I hated being veg. The food sucked and tasted "healthy". Now there are prouduts that are so good my friends don't even care its not real. There is still alot of nasty fake meat products out there. Like trader joes chicken nuggets and smart dogs...thats a long list but there are some really good ones.
 

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We don't raise our own, but we do buy organic, local-grown and cage-free/free-range meat. I tried the vegetarian lifestyle and found I physically can not do it. I commend those who do, but I do not think there is anything wrong with humans eating meat. However, I do have a problem with the way some animals are treated to provide meat commercially. Which is why I do my part by not supporting those companies. As I do in other areas of my life... We do NOT support Tyson, but not because of the way they treat animals. :p

I love some of the non-meat products, but sometimes I really wonder why. If you don't want to eat meat, why would you buy products that simulate meat without being meat? I'll never understand! :) Some are pretty yummy, though. I love using soy in the place of meat for things, though physically, it's not the best for everyone when used all the time. :\ Too much of anything is NEVER good.

Anyhow, in other areas, I encouraged if you find animals being abused, go to the local authorities that have the power to do something. If they don't, keep reporting it. If they still don't, take it higher, take it to the media. Things get done when the public gets involved. Especially when it comes to pet stores and the like.
 

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Kimmiekins said:
I love some of the non-meat products, but sometimes I really wonder why. If you don't want to eat meat, why would you buy products that simulate meat without being meat? I'll never understand! :)
you know, i've often thought that as well. i've been vegetarian for nine years and vegan for a few months. i think the reason i use fake-meat products is for convenience. i don't have to really try very hard to make sure i get enough protein; all i have to do is microwave a veggie burger, or toss some veggie ground beef into a stir-fry. it just makes it easier to think about nutrition in the conventional sense, i guess. plus, i don't think most of them taste like meat. i am totally disgusted by the smell of my brother or my dad browning ground beef on the stove, but browning veggie beef smells good to me. i think the substitutes also make transitioning easier for people who need it; vegetarianism was an intuitive thing for me from a very young age. my mom used to have trouble getting me to eat the ham from my sandwiches as a tiny kid, and now she and my little sister are both vegetarian, through my influence. it wasn't as easy for them to drop meat, but the substitutes make it easier on them.

(and that's my longwinded reply.)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Wow! Didn't mean for an anti animal abuse topic to go veggie. I guess you can expect that to happen. Was kind of hoping people would share their experiences in anti animal abuse activism. Guess going veggie is one way.

I've not had as easy of a time converting. I still eat fish for one thing. Not sure if I would be able to fully drop meat. I have switched to cage free/free range organic eggs but havn't switched my milk or cheese products over yet. I need to. After reading that bit about puss in my milk I think it's going to be a ton easier :p That's the kind of motivation I need for this!

I think a slower change is best for me though. Going full vegan is so hard I don't see how you can do that! I think a big part for me is the eating out. I eat out at least twice a week if not more. That is something I also need to stop though :p
 

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I got in a fight with my best friend when I conforted her about a thin rat she gave me. I told her how the vet said he isnt ill and that he was infact skinny. I then said she obviously wasn't feeding him enough and neglecting him (otherwise she would have noticed).

It did not ruin our friendship, suprizingly enough. I know she is not intentionally cruel. Many people don't confront their friends due to risk of losing their friendship. Thats understandable...but think of the animal. Someone has to be their voice. If they drop you of a friend because you care for animals then they arnt good friends anyway.

My mother and I (when I was young) reported a store for not properly caring for their turtles. It shut down not long after. Another store I recently reported for keeping their rats in over crowded tanks, selling sick and thin rats, and selling to young babies. Last time I checked up they had one tank with 3 healthy rats in it. Which was alot better than before.

I was prepared to protest infront of the store if animal services didn't check it out. :D So there are many things you can do.

About being vegetarian. I'm trying to eat less meat, I eat cage free eggs, and I refuse to eat KFC. Salad's almost make me ill (dunno why), so its near impossible for me to be a strict vegetarian.
 

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I would be careful about protesting. It is now considered a terroristic act if it is aginst an "animal enterprise".
 

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Honestly I have animal control on speed dial on my cell phone. If I walk into any situation where I feel there is neglect or abuse I call right away. And i stand there until the officer gets there. I am now known at a petstore to the point where the manager greets me at the door. I have no issue calling them on their abuse and neglect. I offer help with educating as well I even donate what I can to my local shelter and certain petstores that are at least trying to learn a thing or two.
 

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twilight said:
What happened to freedom of speech? All I was thinking about was standing with sign. ;) It's a family owned pet store.
LoL We live in california everyone protests everything. If it had really gotten to the point of protesting I would have been right by your side as I had said to you on the phone. Of course I would have done my research first and made sure no laws were broken LoL!
 

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twilight said:
Many people don't confront their friends due to risk of losing their friendship. Thats understandable...but think of the animal. Someone has to be their voice.
yes.

my concern for some rats almost cost me two friendships last spring. the previous fall, two of my friends, after meeting my rats, decided they wanted some. i helped them get set up. i gave them one of my old cages- aquarium with a topper, and a food bowl, water bottle, hammocks and boxes... all they had to do, really, was buy food, litter and the rats. the rats were going to be kept at chris's apartment, but dylan would be co-owner of them.

well. i tried to tell them that buying rats from petco wasn't the best idea, if you want healthy rats, but the boys were impatient. they took home two, margot and jackie. they'd only had them a few days when jackie died suddenly, with no discernable symptoms, and margot started sniffling. so they "returned" margot. this wouldn't have been a problem, since it really is up to petco to provide the antibiotics in this situation, except that the boys were offered two options: wait and see if margot improves, after they treat her with antibiotics free of charge, or forget her completely and just get two new rats. you can guess which option the boys took.

well, i felt a sense of responsibility for little margot, and i called petco and made sure they knew that i wanted her and was checking up on her. i figured maybe they'd take better care of her if they knew someone cared. well, she continued to get worse, and she eventually developed an abcess on her chin which broke open. she died after maybe two weeks of treatment, but during that time, i came in to see her and hold her every couple days. (in this situation, i believe the petco employees showed tremendous compassion and responsibility. maybe it was just because they knew i was watching.)

but the story doesn't end there. dylan stopped spending so much time at chris's apartment, and chris got "too busy" for the new rats. i found myself over there once a month, at least, cleaning out the rat cage and making sure they had food/water. chris once called me and asked if he could feed the rats saltine crackers instead of buying more rat food, since he didn't have time. (i brought him a bag of mine.) i found myself resenting my friends. finally, i talked to the boys and had them ready to just hand the rats over to me, and i was prepared to take them on the weekend when chris could bring them over. unfortunately, two of our other very melodramatic friends decided they needed to swoop in and "save the day" by simply kidnapping the rats, dirty cage and all. i got a call at one in the morning, saying, "we have rats, amanda. and we're keeping them. we've renamed them."

top it all off with the fact that this happened during the run of "cabaret" at our university, and that every one of the people involved was in the show or on crew. do you know how hard it is to run wardrobe when the leading man won't even make eye contact with you? eventually i had to walk right up to chris and tell him, flat out, that i didn't mean for them to just take his rats, and that even though in any situation like this, i side with the rats, i still valued his friendship and i wish it hadn't come to this.

fortunately, the rats have a new home (not with me, but with another friend of ours, where they're taken very good care of), and i'm still friends with dylan and chris, though i'd have to say my respect for them has been irreparably damaged. but this could have been so much worse.

and that's my animal-cruelty-compromising-friendship story.
 

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Poppyseed said:
(Mods, I wasn't sure where to put this, but I thought it would be a good thread. Please move to wherever you think it goes)
Thanks, Poppyseed... I'll leave it here for now and possibly consider it for stickying later.

All members - Please use this thread as a useful resource and place to seek solutions to problems that you see out there in the world. Please do not use this post as a place to bash other members of the forums, or link to bashing of members on other forums! Any such posts will be deleted.

Thanks! ;)
 

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I go into Petsmart/petco to buy my food and litter. I know I've heard poor things about Petsmart but the one I walked into seemed rather good. I believe most of the animals had an individual tank........but of course i don't know how they're treated in the back! Anyhoo I plan to call local authorities if I ever see abuse!

About the veg stuff (what interesting topics you miss while driving home)

I am a vegetarian, and it makes me very happy that many of you have put thought into where you get your meat/eggs/milk and so on! I don't mind if people eat meat (that is their choice) all I ever ask is they think about the cruelty that happens with the purchase of many products! I do try to educate people about conditions animals are forced to live in. If they are open intelligent people they will at least listen! I also find that people who say things that are somewhat rude or ignorant it may be because they are defending themselves before an attack! Maybe they think everyone who DOESN'T eat meat is super judgmental and looks down on them, so you get the insta-reaction put down that way of life, so they don't question mine! I think it helps if you tell people you aren't judging them for their choice, and it makes them more willing to listen to yours!! :) anyhoo that's just a thought. I wasn't a psyc. major, so I could be completely wrong lol :)
 

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twilight said:
What happened to freedom of speech? All I was thinking about was standing with sign. ;) It's a family owned pet store.
AETA – the Animal Enterprise Terrorist Act outlaws boycotts, picketing, documenting abuse. It rewrites the civil disobedience clause. Any non-violent physical obstruction of an animal enterprise or a business having a connection to, or relationship with, an animal enterprise, that may result in loss of profits but does not result in bodily injury or death or property damage.
 

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Wait, they can call you a terrorist for cutting into an abusive animal enterprise's profits? That's rediculous. I know Bush is a moron, but where does he pick up these people do favors for?!
 
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