A Birthday Surprise – VEGAN VOICES writer Ingrid Newkirk

Next in our series on the writers of “VEGAN VOICES –  Essays by Inspiring Changemakers”, is Ingrid Newkirk.  

Ingrid Newkirk is the founder and president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, (PETA), the largest animal rights organisation in the world with more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide.  She is the author of more than a dozen books that have been translated into several languages, her latest being Animalkind: Remarkable Discoveries about Animals and Revolutionary New Ways To Show Them Compassion.

Extract from her essay in Vegan Voices:
“We were at the fanciest restaurant that served lobster in the Philadelphia area, and we had driven hours to get there. It was my birthday, and I can’t remember now if I was turning twenty or somewhere around there. The place was gorgeous – that I do remember – and the evening was perfect. White wine, freshly baked bread, candles, white linen, soft music, and the man I loved beside me. We ordered the lobster.
The next thing I recall is the waiter arriving with a silver salver, on which there were three lobsters to choose from.  They waved their antennae in our direction, but I thought nothing of it.  I didn’t know then that lobsters flirt, hold hands to guide each other across the ocean floor, and live to be decades old.  I didn’t know what my next words would mean to the one I gestured towards as I said, in answer to the question, “Broiled or boiled?”  “Broiled, please.” “



Review of Vegan Voices by Bruce Friedrich, Co-founder & Executive Director, The Good Food Institute:

“There are as many reasons to be vegan as there are vegans, as this lovely anthology makes clear. So many of my heroes in one place—what a treat. Read it and be inspired.”


Vegan Voices: Essays by Inspiring Changemakers
Available at Lantern Publishing & Media

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-59056-650-3
eBook ISBN: 978-1-59056-651-0

Animal Exploitation Through The Ages

While our current civilisation is the most enlightened we continue to wreak extreme suffering and death on sentient non-human animals.  Future generations will regard this as the greatest moral failure of our time.


Yet while modern exploitation of animals for food, for research, for their skin and fur, for entertainment, and as ‘beasts of burden’ causes incalculable suffering to countless trillions of beings, we have always profited from other animals at their expense.


In this article from Crate Free USA we see how, from antiquity to the 21st century, we have caused our fellow beings incalculable suffering.  Because of the sheer numbers involved, animal abuse is now on a scale never before seen. 

One of the most effective ways we can help to redress these grievous wrongs is by stopping animal agriculture by adopting a vegan diet.


Read the article here:

An Indictment Of What Is And Should Never Again Be – The ‘Invisible’ Animals In Our Lives

In a powerful new book co-edited by Jo-Anne McArthur, “Hidden: Animals in the Anthropocene“, 30 award-winning photojournalists shine a light through their photography on the ‘invisible’ animals in our lives – the ones we eat, wear, use for research, work and entertainment. 

‘HIDDEN is a historical document, a memorial, and an indictment of what is and should never again be’.

Feature photo of a silver fox in a fur farm in Poland


Read the Guardian article here



Humans have used, abused and slaughtered other animals since we have been walking upright.  The power imbalance between us and other animals means that it is at best difficult, at worst futile, for them to resist us.

But there have always been ‘rebel’ animals who have fought back against their fate, as documented in a new book by Sarat Colling, Animal Resistance in the Global Capitalist Era.  Sadly the resistence has usually been in vain.  One famous example of animal resistance is the case of the ‘Temple Pig’ in 2015. 

The pig was trying to escape slaughter in Zhejiang province China, where she ran to a Buddhist Monastery and  was photographed ‘bowing down’ amongst the worshippers (feature photo).  The footage went viral on the Internet, but in reality the animal was probably just exhausted, and she was slaughtered soon afterwards.

We don’t even try to listen to animals’ voices.  If we did, we would understand how much they are like us.

Colling has written a scholarly and readable book.  Read her interview with Professor Marc Bekoff in ‘Psychology Today’ here





COVID-19 – It’s Time To Leave Behind Inhumane Practices For Good

The Chinese government is promoting a bear bile derivative as a cure for Covid 19, without any evidence that it would work.  As a result there could be an upsurge in the demand for bears for this cruel and inhumane treatment.  

The US is proposing The Bear Protection Act, designed to prevent poaching of American bears for bear bile.  The passage of this Act would help stop this extreme form of animal cruelty globally. 

It is time to stop superstitious, archaic practices, and leave them behind for good. 

Read the Animal Wellness article here:

April 14 – the day we remember dolphins


This is the day we remember these wonderful mammals, and also the particular ways we continue to harm them.

Here are a few facts about dolphins:

Wild dolphins travel in extended family groupings called pods.
A pod of wild dolphins can travel up to 100 kilometers a day in the open ocean.
Each member of the pod has their own role, that focuses on the well being of the group.
Families frequently remain together for life.
The elder pod members protect the young and teach them crucial survival skills.
Dolphins have advanced communication and are thought by scientists to have names (unique whistles) for each other.
Many divers etc have documented their intelligent and playful behaviour when dealing with humans.
Dolphins’ prey is tracked by the projection of high-frequency sound waves (echolocation) that they are masters at interpreting, after 50 million years of adapting to their ocean homes.

In 2020, dolphins in the wild are threatened by humans in many ways. These include massacres (for example, Taiji),  overfishing and by-kill in commercial fishing, and also by an increasingly ‘noisy’ ocean that harms their sensitive hearing and threatens their well being in the wild.

Dolphins (and other cetaceans) living in Seaworld and similar aquariums suffer endlessly, in multiple ways. They are placed in unfamiliar groupings with dolphins that have come from different families, making communication between them difficult. The confined, bare and sterile conditions causes them extreme aggression and frustration. Often they bear scars of clashing with tankmates, and also of self harm. Cetaceans in captivity have been observed regularly bashing their heads against the sides of their tank, and their teeth and mouth can bleed and swell from gnawing at the bars of their gates. At the other extreme of stress, some become very listless, and float around the tank all day, a phenomenon known as ‘logging.’

Dolphins in captivity have to be regularly treated with ulcer medication or antidepressant medication to alleviate the suffering they are forced to endure.

Food deprivation is one of the ways the entertainment industry uses to train them for the tricks dolphins have to perform. This is known as operant conditioning.

Because the tanks they are kept in are shallow, dolphins can experience sunburn, and zinc cream has to be applied to their skin. Heavily chlorinated tanks can burn and irritate their eyes. If the water is not properly cleaned and filtered, it can cause bacterial infections and open sores in the mammals.

Please,  today and every day, let us think about these wonderful, intelligent and playful mammals who we are harming in so many grievous ways.

Please don’t support SeaWorld or any other aquariums, anywhere in the world.

For indepth information about Cetaceans, see this article: 


Sandra Kyle

Sandra Kyle is the admin/editor of End Animal Slaughter, and a full-time Animal Rights activist.

Voices for Animals Across the Years – Heli Dungler 1963-2020

A jackdaw Heli Dungler rescued as a child and kept as a pet is credited with his realisation that wild animals needed to be in their own environment, with their own kind. “She had fallen out of the nest and I took her home and raised her” he said. ”She accompanied me everywhere.  She was incredibly witty and intelligent.  But then one day a flock of jackdaws came into the village and she showed me that she would like to fly with the others,    I let her go.  At that moment I realized that caring for animals means letting go.”

The young boy who reluctantly parted with his pet that day grew up to preside over one of the largest animal welfare organisations in the world. With offices in 15 countries, and a full-time staff of more than 400, FOUR PAWS is today an independent global voice campaigning, lobbying and providing sanctuaries for abused animals.  Their vision? A world where people treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding.


Heli Dungler was born in the picturesque town of Waidhofen an der Thaya in Lower Austria in 1963, and grew up close to woodlands where he loved to go to observe the wildlife.  At age 19 he relocated to Vienna to study veterinary medicine.  Unhappy with the Course’s emphasis on agricultural work he dropped out of veterinary school and took a job managing marine mammal campaigns for Greenpeace Austria.  Inside him, his desire to actively promote animal welfare was growing, and in Vienna in 1988 he and three friends founded ‘Vier Pfoten’ ‘FOUR PAWS.’

One of the first campaigns of the fledgling organisation was against the fur industry.    At the time – and even now – fur animal husbandry is not regulated, and typically animals raised for their pelts are kept in tiny cages and are sometimes skinned alive.  As a direct result of FOUR PAWS campaigns, which in part mounted opposition to the contamination of groundwater fur farming produces, the last fur farm in Austria closed in 1998.

Other early  campaigns were for higher animal welfare standards in agriculture, especially hens in cages, and for the liberation of wild animals used in circus acts.

In 1998 Vier Pfoten debuted in sanctuary work by founding the Bear Sanctuary Arbesbach in Austria. In November 2000, in  partnership with the Fondation Brigitte Bardot, it opened a 2.7-acre sanctuary called the Belitsa Dancing Bear Park  in Sofia, Bulgaria.   Bulgarian Dancing Bears are trained to ‘dance’ using a particularly cruel method of conditioned response.   A nail is hammered into their sensitive nose and a ring inserted so they can be led by a chain. Then they are put on hot plates or hot ash, at the same time as the owner plays on a violin or accordian.   The sound of the musical instrument eventually becomes the ‘trigger’ to get the bear moving or ‘dancing’ before the public for money.   Because of the work of Four Paws, by 2007 there were no more “dancing bears” in Bulgaria and the Bulgarian Parliament declared European brown bears a protected species who could no longer be hunted, bought, sold,  or displayed to a paying audience.

FOUR PAWS currently has seven bear sanctuaries, yet it is estimated that hundreds of bears are today still kept in captivity in Europe, some of them in the most appalling conditions. In Southeast Europe in particular they are often held in cages that are far too small, badly structured and inadequately equipped. Not only circuses and private owners keep animals in conditions not suited to their species, many zoos and animal parks do too.

One of the most egregious ways bears are treated is in the bear bile industry.   Many thousands of  Asiatic black bears are kept captive in China, Vietnam and elsewhere for their bile. Bear’s bile is extracted using various invasive techniques, all of which cause severe suffering, pain and infection.

The method claimed to be the most ‘humane’ by bile farmers, is a ‘free-drip’ method, where bears undergo crude surgery by unqualified people to create a permanent open passage from their gallbladder through their abdomen. The bile is ‘tapped’ by forcing a metal tube through the wound to reach the bile in the gallbladders.  Not only do they endure this constant pain, many bile bears are confined in ‘crush’ cages where they can barely move and endure.

In September 2019 FOUR PAWS rescued 7 Asiatic black bears from their tiny cages in a southern Vietnam bile bear farm, and were relocated to their new, species appropriate home in Ninh Binh.

In the 1990s, as his organisation grew, Dungler needed to spend more time in his directing/administration role, and the  public face of Vier Pfoten became chief veterinarian and project manager, Amir Khalil.  On behalf of FOUR PAWS he led dramatic rescues of starving animals left in zoos after wars in eastern Europe, Libya, Yemen and the Gaza region.   Seven hundred  animals were rescued from the Tripoli Zoo after the fall of the Muammar Gaddafi regime.

In the 2000s FOUR PAWS won global acclaim for their sterilization and vaccination programmes for dogs and cats. Ahead of the Euro 2012 football championships in 2012, they treated 4,000 street dogs in the Ukraine, including descendants of pets who were left behind after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

In the early 2000s, Dungler formed a South African subsidiary,  and bought a formerly notorious hunting ranch,  along with all of the animals there that the previous owner was willing to sell.  Khalil was sent to South Africa to supervise turning the hunting ranch into the Lionsrock sanctuary and destination resort that opened to visitors in February 2008.  Among the few big cat sanctuaries worldwide, it houses  77 big cats often from failed zoos and circuses, in a semi-wild environment.

In 2018 FOUR PAWS began work on a  sanctuary for elephants in the Bago region of Myanmar, to house former working elephants.  Demand for teak has decreased in Myanmar because of stricter environmental controls, and logging elephants are no longer needed.  Elephants who no longer have any economic purpose are killed or sold into the tourism industry since elephant rides are still viewed as an attraction.  FOUR PAWS are giving these magnificent endangered animals a sanctuary where they can recover from their past labours, and ideally be introduced back into the wild.

It was on a visit to Lionsrock on January 7, 2020, that Dungler suffered a massive heart attack and died suddenly.   The organisation he presided over released a statement.

“His death is a severe blow for us and fills us with great pain…  The world has lost a very special animal lover and visionary.  We will honor his memory by continuing the work he loved so much, in his spirit.”

Rest in Peace Heli Dungler.  Your life’s work will continue through the organisation you founded.

Sandra Kyle