On a hairpee note, the holidays are here, so I had the time to attend the Animal Symposium. It was good. Big Cats talk was good, too.
This 1st ever Animal Symposium on animal welfare was held at the SMU NgeeAnn Kongsi Auditorium.
It was really very insightful as it gave information about animal abuse in the entertainment circle (e.g. the IR whale shark importment and the Dolphin Lagoon's pink bottlenose dolphin [http://www.acres.org.sg/campaigns_dolphins.html]), the laboratory testing (where there is actually the NACLAR set up by the AVA to monitor the laboratory facilities and assess skill level to prevent lab-tested animals from suffering too much) and the animal farming issues (caged up pigs/ sheltered chickens/ unsculpturous ways of making the animals mate). I was actually quite horrified, read this:
MEAT AND POULTRY The first step to a cruelty-free lifestyle is to give up meat altogether, or at least reduce its consumption. In the name of profit and productivity, modern farms overcrowd animals and shut them up for their entire lives in tiny cages or pens, often in windowless sheds. Many animals are genetically manipulated and stuffed with growth hormones and antibiotics. Chickens often have their beaks chopped off to stop them pecking each other. Piglets are castrated and mutilated, often without anaesthesia. Cows are de-horned, castrated and painfully branded with hot irons. The death rate is high. Many animals succumb to respiratory illness, infection from neglected wounds, bacterial and viral disease, stress, and heart attack. Many go mad from sheer lack of stimulation. Animals in slaughterhouses can often smell the stench, hear the screams and see the slaughter of those before them. Many are still conscious when their throats are slit and they are lowered into scalding tanks with boiling liquid.
Well, of course, abstaining from meat altogether is not the only way to stop animal sufferage. We could really help also by buying free-range products where animals are not subjected to bad living conditions. It was really a heated forum as well.
Didnt manage to stay for the Wildlife portion of the seminar, I really wished I did cos it's my favourite section... but aww well.
Later in the day, went for the talk by Dereck and Beverly Joubert. They are actually National Geographic film producers, who are really involved in the work of animal conservation. It's exciting to meet them with their wonderful photographs and footage (like Legadema having to mother' a baboon - I think - baby for a few hours). So what inspired them to do the films? It was their thirst to learn more about Africa while mentioning that the eyes of these big cats really intrigued them and caused them to study these big cats rather than other species.. Twenty-seven years in the field-I really respect them for being able to sustain so long.
Do support their cause in building more forests and destroying hunting permits!
Summary of their film
The intimate story of the relationship between two filmmaker-explorers and a leopard they find when she is 8 days old. With the most sensitive methods they follow her as she matures, first in the company of her mother, then hunting on her own. Their film, Eye of the Leopard, is the story of her coming-of-age. Now,Living with Big Cats tells us of the relationship that develops between the filmmakers and this leopard. Passionately told, it is a story of internal conflict, of testing boundaries, and of the seduction of Dereck and Beverly Joubert - our human characters, by Legadema - the leopard.
Thanks for reading this post anyw (: It was a sudden influx of inspiration after attending the talks. Loved them.