In Istanbul’s Princes’ Islands, over 500 carriage horses die in a year due to abuse, heat, overloaded carriages and exhaustion

Straight from the Horse's Heart


Animal rights activists protest the abuse by horse carriages of Princes’ Islands


Think twice before you jump into a horse carriage in Istanbul’s Princes’ Islands this summer, as over 500 horses die in a year due to abuse, heat, overloaded carriages and exhaustion


Most horses brought to the island are not fit for pulling the carriages, live in poor conditions, often without medical inspection (Sabah Photo)

Animal rights activists staged a protest on Sunday in front of the Princes’ Islands Pier located in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district to protest the abuse and maltreatment of horses used in the island’s landmark horse carriages.

Activists stated that over 500 horses die a year in the Islands, and using them for touristic purposes or horse carriage nostalgia is nothing but participating in the cruelty against the animals.

They asked for all horse carriages to be removed in Turkey, and asked for the…

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Illicit Ivory: A Film Worth Watching

Emilio Cogliani

2015-06-01-1433189303-693112-elephantsneedtheirfamilies.JPGElephants need their ivory, because elephants need their families. Photo: Carl Safina

Everyone, it seems, loves elephants. A new film titled Illicit Ivory premiered last week on KCET in Southern California and elsewhere. You can watch it online at The trailer is at

It’s an upsetting film. The good news? There is a groundswell of effort that is beginning to work to slow the ivory trade. It can be done; we can save the elephants. The more we understand, the faster each of us can help it happen.

So why watch a tough film? Must we subject ourselves to the knowledge that every 20 minutes, an elephant is killed for its tusks? How does it help us — indeed how does it help elephants — for us to know that the slaughter is driven by ignorance, greed, and an insatiable demand for ivory? Why see such…

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Why the East Coast Needs to Pay Attention to the Santa Barbara Oil Spill

Emilio Cogliani

How sadly ironic. Just days after a government report identified the BP tragedy from five years ago as the main culprit for ongoing health problems and mass die-offs of thousands of dolphins, we saw oil spilling into the Pacific Ocean. Sadly, many families in Santa Barbara did not get to enjoy their beaches this Memorial Day.

It is absurd that we have learned nothing from the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. It is absurd that five years after the BP Deepwater Horizon exploded, killing workers, smothering wildlife, and devastating Gulf Coast ecosystems and economies, our decision-makers are taking steps toward more drilling rather than less. It is absurd that the last five years has seen oil extraction returning to previous levels, with rigs drilling even deeper in the Gulf than before the tragedy took place.

Even as communities on the Gulf Coast continue to struggle from the aftermath of…

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Dog dies of heat stroke after being left in drying cage at Petco

Global polar bear population size is about 26,000 (20,000-32,000), despite PBSG waffling


The IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group admits its global population estimate is simply a qualified guess with a large potential error.  So perhaps it’s time to acknowledge that for the purpose of comparing polar bears to other species of concern, the upper limit for polar bear numbers worldwide could be more than 30,000?

Polar bears USFWS_cover PolarBearNews2013_2014

See previous posts on this global population size issue (here and here); updated information below, including the most recent IUCN PBSG statement.

The total of mean population estimates for all subpopulations listed in the lasted PBSG status table, January 2015 (pdf here) is:

17,741 with 5 subpopulations not counted (Arctic Basin, Chukchi Sea, Kara Sea, Laptev Sea, East Greenland); range 12,429 – 23,658.

That’s down slightly from the 2013 and 2014 estimates of 18,349 bears (Fig. 1).

However, adding in new or previously-cited estimates (without error margins) for unsurveyed populations (AB, CS, KS…

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Pit bull once used for dog fighting is now living the sweet life

Ghost nets threaten marine wildlife (Worldwide)

The ocean update

ghost-net-sea-turtleMay 22nd, 2015 (Harald Franzen). Once lost or discarded, old fishing nets can drift through the world’s seas for centuries, catching and killing marine wildlife as they go. Environmentalists and local groups are working to combat the threat.

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Woman goes blind after cat licks her

Save Unlucky Elephant from Abusive Owner

Save Unlucky Elephant from Abusive Owner.

Save Critically Endangered Dolphins from Fishing Nets

Save Critically Endangered Dolphins from Fishing Nets.

Stop Animal Testing of Johnson & Johnson Products

Stop Animal Testing of Johnson & Johnson Products.

Approve Harsher Punishment for Repeated Animal Abusers

Connecticut will require harsher punishment for repeated animal abusers if a bill recently unanimously approved by their senate is made into law. Please support this petition to help get the bill approved.

via Approve Harsher Punishment for Repeated Animal Abusers.

Prosecute Man Who Allegedly Shot Dog in the Head with an Arrow

A man allegedly shot his dog in the head with a bow and arrow. The dog miraculously survived, but the man should be given a stiff sentence if found guilty. Sign this petition to make sure that happens.

via Prosecute Man Who Allegedly Shot Dog in the Head with an Arrow.

Prevent Potentially Deadly Threat to Animal Sanctuary

Prevent Potentially Deadly Threat to Animal Sanctuary.

Cats Boiled Alive for ‘Cat Soup’ Deserve Justice

Cats Boiled Alive for ‘Cat Soup’ Deserve Justice.

Good Siberian tiger news

Dear Kitty. Some blog

This video says about itself:

Siberian tigress Ilona captured on camera a year after release – Part II

28 May 2015

Raw footage taken by a camera trap inside Khingan Nature Reserve in Far East Russia that shows Ilona the Siberian tigress marking her territory. Ilona is one of five orphan tigers that IFAW helped rehabilitate and release back to the wild in May of 2014. A drop-off satellite collar fitted on Ilona provides scientists with critical data to better protect the species. There are less than 400 wild Siberian (aka Amur) tigers left in the wild. To find out more, visit:

From Wildlife Extra:

12 month’s after release ‘Putin’s tigers’ are reported as thriving

One year after five orphaned Siberian tigers were released in the Russian Far East the signs are four out of the five are doing well and have adapted successfully to life in…

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Spike in water toxins blamed for hundreds of turtle deaths

Ethics Asylum

Image Credit: AP Photo/Michael Balsamo

JAMESPORT, N.Y. (AP) — Hundreds of small turtles have washed up dead on the eastern end of Long Island in the last month, a die-off scientists blame on waterborne toxins that have reached unprecedented levels for reasons that aren’t entirely clear.

Necropsies on some of the more than 200 diamondback terrapins found on the island’s North Fork point to saxitoxin, a biotoxin produced in algae blooms that has been found in the water at 10 times the normal level. The poison collects in shellfish, which are eaten by the turtles in brackish bays and estuaries, quickly causing paralysis and death.

“We’re seeing bodies washing up in perfect condition. This has never happened before. It’s an alarming thing,” said Karen Testa, executive director of Turtle Rescue of the Hamptons, whose volunteers have collected dozens of the dead turtles and sent them to state officials for analysis.


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Costa Rica Becomes The FIRST Nation To Ban Hunting! - by F. Kaskais



by Amanda Froelich

After Congress unanimously voted to ban hunting in 2012, it became illegal to poach wildlife in Costa Rica.

Do animals feel pain? Should they have rights like humans? These questions and others have been asked before on TrueActivist, and increasingly the response is that an individual should be honored – no matter their species– for who they are and what they might offer to the world.

We also recently reported that in the wake of controversy over the poaching of endangered animals, a number of airlines are now also refusing to ship hunting trophies.

Which is why we highly suspect you’re going to love the news – albeit a few years old – of Costa Rica becoming the first country to ban hunting!

As The Huffington Post reports, in December of 2012, Congress unanimously voted to ban hunting as…

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Seven Unique Animals That Call Minnesota Home

Igor Purlantov

From a killer songbird that impales its victims to a strange-looking mole that can smell underwater, Minnesota is full of unusual wildlife. Here are seven odd Minnesota-dwelling creatures you may not have known about.

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The Sun Is Trying To Tell Us Something - by F. Kaskais

solar arrow

Solar Filaments On The Sun Look Like Arrows Saying ‘Keep Right’

“Keep right” signs aren’t just all over U.S. roads. One “sign” appeared at least briefly at the center of the solar system last week.

The formation on the sun appeared to resemble a cosmic “keep right” sign — or theschool of pointing fish in “Finding Nemo.”

The “arrows” were made by two solar filaments, or clouds of solar material held in place by magnetic force. While unstable, some formations can stay in place for days or weeks, NASA said.

These filaments can also erupt, with the solar material either raining back down onto the sun or shooting out into space as a coronal mass ejection.

The two filaments in the “keep right formation” would each be the diameter of the sun if straightened out, or about 1 million miles long.

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Vegan Shopping List [Downloadable PDF]

The Friendly Fig

Happy Monday, veg-heads! True story: I love food shopping. Every Saturday morning, I hop out of bed at the ass-crack of dawn. I’m absolutely fabulous first thing in the morning.


Anyways, Trader Joe’s is my happy place. It’s really my favorite thing to do on the weekends, and Joe and I have a great routine.

My shopping list is never crazy long, but I do have staples. In this post, you’ll find a downloadable vegan shopping list. Vegan or vegetarian, I think this shopping list may come in handy – especially if you are just starting to transition to a plant-based diet.

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Oldest gorilla at Hogle Zoo euthanized

Just 30 miles from New York City – a nuclear disaster-in-waiting


reactor-Indian-PointHOW A POTENTIAL FUKUSHIMA SITS 30 MILES FROM NYC , Pontiac Tribune,  by Claire Bernish 11 May 15  “…………..there is something of grave concern scheduled to begin shortly, and its close proximity to the aging nuclear plant — which at one time found itself on the list of the nation’s worst — has largely escaped coverage by the corporate media. Oh, did I mention IPEC is located in a seismic zone?

When contemplating risk, there is an assumption that the factors under consideration will lead to an informed decision in answering the question: Is it worth it?

The Algonquin Incremental Market Project (AIM) is a glaring example of an entire industry hellbent on ignoring that essential question altogether. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), with approval by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), gave the green light on plans for Spectra Corporation to construct a 42″, high – pressure…

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Victory Against Monsanto – Federal Judge Rules in Favor of GMO Ban

Fukushima food coming to a grocery near you?


plate-radiationHow Fukushima Produce Is Making Its Way Into International Stores, Before It’s News,Wednesday, May 27, 2015 It is being reported that tainted food from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Gumma, and Chiba is making its way into local supermarkets in Taiwan due to the irresponsibility of mislabeling. What’s more, these food products were banned in Taiwan since March of 2011.

The first question is: Why are food products from the concerned Japanese prefectures surrounding Fukushima mislabelled?

The second question is: Why is Japan attempting to foist its unsafe and inferior radioactive foods on Taiwan?

Instead of humbly acquiescing to Taiwan’s wishes, Japan takes an aggressive approach even threatening WTO arbitration.

Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration said the latest enforcement was in line with radiation safety management practices that other countries have put in place on Japanese food imports following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

It said it “is necessary to protect…

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Put in your 2 cents worth on BLM’s $2 per acre oil and gas leases on public lands

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Please submit a comment in your own words, asking that the minimum rate per acre for oil and gas leasing be MUCH higher than $2 an acre, and ask the BLM to remove caps established by current regulations on civil penalties that may be assessed under the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act.

Most importantly, be sure to demand that the BLMNOT approve any more land for oil & gas development/leasing on Wild Horse & Burro Herd Management Areas (HMAs) (since there supposedly isn’t enough water and forage for wild horses and burros on their federally protected HMAs).  – Debbie

wis.Par.69820.Image.200.135.1 (photo: BLM)

BLM Extends Public Comment Period to June 19, 2015 on Oil and Gas Royalty Rulemaking


May 29, 2015- WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced today that it is extending the public comment period on its Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking…

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Guest Post: Essential Guide – Understanding Your Cat’s Food Diet- Vet Know-how

You can’t rent a one-bedroom apartment anywhere in America on a minimum-wage job

Scientists probe mysterious wave of antelope deaths

Ethics Asylum

Around half of the world’s critically endangered Saiga antelope have died suddenly in Kazakhstan since 10 May.

An unknown environmental trigger is thought to have caused two types of normally benign bacteria found in the antelopes’ gut to turn deadly.

The animals die within hours of showing symptoms, which include depression, diarrhoea and frothing at the mouth.

Because it is calving season, entire herds of female antelope and their new-born calves have been wiped out.

“They get into respiratory problems, they can’t breathe easily. They stop eating and are extremely depressed; the mothers die and then the calves are very distressed and then they die maybe one or two days later,” said Richard Kock from the Royal Veterinary College in London.

Prof Kock spoke to the BBC’s Science in Action programme after joining an international team in Kazakhstan studying the causes of the die-off.

Conservation setback

The Saiga antelope is…

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Getting Rid of Aphids