Society for the Advancement of Animal Wellbeing

- Protecting Animals and Conserving the Environment

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PETA Sues SeaWorld for Violating Orcas' Constitutional Rights

Posted on October 25, 2011 at 10:45 PM Comments comments (1)

In the first case of its kind, PETA, three marine-mammal experts, and two former orca trainers are filing a lawsuit asking a federal court to declare that five wild-caught orcas forced to perform at SeaWorld are being held as slaves in violation of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The filing—the first ever seeking to apply the 13th Amendment to nonhuman animals—names the five orcas as plaintiffs and also seeks their release to their natural habitats or seaside sanctuaries.


The suit is based on the plain text of the 13th Amendment, which prohibits the condition of slavery without reference to "person" or any particular class of victim. "Slavery is slavery, and it does not depend on the species of the slave any more than it depends on gender, race, or religion," says general counsel to PETA, Jeffrey Kerr.


The five wild-captured orca plaintiffs are Tilikum and Katina (both confined at SeaWorld Orlando) and Kasatka, Corky, and Ulises (all three confined at SeaWorld San Diego).


"All five of these orcas were violently seized from the ocean and taken from their families as babies. They are denied freedom and everything else that is natural and important to them while kept in small concrete tanks and reduced to performing stupid tricks," says PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. "The 13th Amendment prohibits slavery, and these orcas are, by definition, slaves."


In the aerial view of SeaWorld, one can see how little room orcas have. Inside the circle is Tilikum, whose nose and tail almost touch the ends of his tank. Image © 2011 Google


Orcas are intelligent animals who, in the wild, work cooperatively, form complex relationships, communicate using distinct dialects, and swim up to 100 miles every day. At SeaWorld, they are forced to swim in circles in small, barren concrete tanks. Deprived of the opportunity to make conscious choices and to practice their cultural vocal, social, and foraging traditions, they are compelled to perform meaningless tricks for a reward of dead fish.


Our understanding of animals grows every day. Animals are no longer regarded as "things" to dominate, but as breathing, feeling beings with families, dialects, intellect, and emotions. Just as we look back with shame at a time when we enslaved other humans and viewed some people as property less deserving of protection and consideration, we will look back on our treatment of these animals with shame. The 13th Amendment exists to abolish slavery in all its forms—and this lawsuit is the next step.


The orcas are represented in the suit by what the law refers to as their "next friends": PETA, Ric O'Barry (a former orca and dolphin trainer and the star of the Academy Award–winning documentary The Cove), renowned marine biologist and orca expert Dr. Ingrid N. Visser, Orca Network founder Howard Garrett, and former SeaWorld trainers Samantha Berg and Carol Ray.


The groundbreaking suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego.

Please help animals imprisoned by SeaWorld today. Click here to write to The Blackstone Group—the company that owns SeaWorld—and ask that it immediately set in place a firm and rapid plan to release the animals to sanctuaries that can provide them with an appropriate and more natural environment.

SAAW Ethical Store

Posted on September 25, 2011 at 4:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Hi everyone!

Just a quick post to let you all know that we've recently opened an on-line ethical store on the SAAW International website in partnership with where you can buy DVDs and books on environmental and animal issues. Either buying for yourself or as a gift, it's an ideal way to spread awareness on these important topics!

So please visit our ethical store by clicking on the following url

Report Urges Government To Promote Health Benefits Of Vegetarian Diet

Posted on September 23, 2011 at 10:35 PM Comments comments (4)

If your daily diet includes plentiful amounts of meat and dairy, it might be time to reconsider your food choices. According to a recent report, a vegetarian diet is the key to a healthier and longer life.


The report, written by the World Preservation Foundation, urges the government to support and encourage people to give meat the boot and follow a plant-based diet in a bid to cut the diagnosis, treatment and cost rates of common illnesses like cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.


Plant-Based Diets: A solution to our public health crisis, published in the weekly political magazine issued to MPs,The House Magazine, appeals to the Government to take charge and actively support the vegetarian diet and its health, environment and costs benefits.


The WPF believes that a simple change in education, which directly connects these common, but life threatening diseases to a meat and dairy packed diet, will significantly enhance public health, as well as controlling costs to the NHS.


They state that eating nutrient-rich, plant-based foods dramatically reduces blood pressure, cholesterol and weight gain, meaning it could potentially save millions from needless deaths.


With the number of obese related conditions currently affecting 60% of the UK population and around 200,000 people losing their lives each year due to cardiovascular diseases, costing the NHS £30 billion.


The WPF want to change these statistics and believe that the way to do it is switching to a plant-based diet.


“This will never come about from another pill, another procedure, another operation, or construction of another cardiac cathedral,” says leading physician and investigator, Dr Caldwell Esselstyn, as reported in Medical News Today.


“It will come about when we are able to show the public the lifestyle that will halt and eliminate 75% of these common, chronic killing diseases. The most essential component of this lifestyle is whole food plant-based nutrition.”


To read the original story please click here

Emily Deschanel Joins Farm Sanctuary to Promote Compassion for Farm Animals

Posted on August 28, 2011 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (1)

When she’s not busy fighting crime on Bones, Emily Deschanel is fighting for animals in real life. The vegan star has teamed up with Farm Sanctuary to promote compassion for farm animals.


The organization’s annual Walk for Farm Animals includes fundraising and outreach events across the United States and Canada, and online fundraising as well. The proceeds go to support Farm Sanctuary’s work rescuing and caring for farm animals at their sanctuaries in New York and California.


According to a press release, Farm Sanctuary, also celebrating their 25th anniversary this year, has announced Deschanel is the official spokesperson for the 2011 Walk for Farm Animals, which will include walks in 35 cities as well as “virtual walks” online. The actress says, “Farm animals are just as interesting and intelligent as the dogs and cats who we know a bit better…Yet they are treated by the meat industry as though they are inanimate objects with no feelings or personalities.”

She is encouraging everyone to join in to give support for the organization home to almost 1,000 rescued animals, and to raise awareness about the cruelty that farm animals are forced to endure. “When you walk, you give hope to billions of animals who are suffering right now on factory farms…Please join me in supporting this important effort by registering to participate in a Walk for Farm Animals near you at” If you want to participate, you can look for a walk in your area, or join in the virtual walk by donating online.

Pet Store Chain to Stop Selling Dogs, Promote Adoptions

Posted on August 28, 2011 at 11:10 AM Comments comments (0)

PJ’s Pets, a nationwide chain of pet shops in Canada has announced that they will no longer sell puppies in their stores!

The company announced this week in a press release that as of Semptember 1, 2011, their stores will facilitate adoptions of pets in need of homes instead of selling puppies most likely from puppy mills. If you would like to know more about the puppy mill industry, check out our recent story on the upcoming documentary Madonna of the Mills. PJ’s Pets says that they are hoping to help “find homes for thousands of pets in local SPCA’s, Humane Societies, rescue groups and shelters across the country.”

For the full story at please click on the following link:

Check Out Farm Sanctuary's New Website

Posted on May 1, 2011 at 6:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Farm sanctuary has teamed up with Brighter Green, The Sierra Club and The Worldwatch Institute to produce this infromative and well designed website on the link between what we eat and the damage caused to the environment. The website is called "Plate to Planet" so check it out here

Kind regards,

The SAAW International team

Justin Bieber Encourages Dog Adoption

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 11:33 AM Comments comments (2)

Canadian teen superstar Justin Bieber has joined PeTA 2 to raise awareness about puppy mills and to encourage people to give an abandoned dog a home by going to the local shelter and adopting instead of buying from a breeder or pet store. Justin's got talent and a big heart! No wonder he's topping the charts, check out his PeTA 2 video below!

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Oprah Winfrey and 378 Harpo Staffers Go Vegan!

Posted on February 1, 2011 at 10:12 PM Comments comments (1)

That's right Oprah Winfrey and 378 staffers went vegan for a week starting February 1st, not only for losing weight but also for health, environmental and love for animals. Special guests included vegan cook Kathy Freston and also Lisa Ling visited a slaughterhouse to see where our meat comes from. 

To find out more, please visit:

Ecorazzi - Top 10 Vegan Stories of 2010

Posted on January 7, 2011 at 10:44 PM Comments comments (0)

As 2010 has come to an end, Ecorazzi published a slide show to look back and reflect on all the wonderful things that happened in 2010 for humans, the environment, and for our animal friends.


As a champion of vegan celebrity news, Ecorazzi thought it might be nice to share a super cool Top 10 countdown segment. Because who doesn’t love a good Top 10 list!?


And now…drumroll please…as we present to you the Ecorazzi TOP 10 VEGAN STORIES OF 2010!


Click here to check out the list!

Happy New Year! 2011

Posted on December 31, 2010 at 10:52 PM Comments comments (0)

Happy New Year and seasons greetings from the SAAW International team!

We would like to offer our thanks for all your support during this past year and hope that we can continue to work together in 2011 to improve the lives of all animals as well as humans.

If you are still looking for a worthwhile New Year's resolution, please consider going vegan. It is the most important action anyone can take to stop the suffering of billions of farm animals as well as to improve your health and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

So please take the PeTA New Year resolution "Go Vegan" pledge by clicking on the following link and watching the video (and please remember to spread the word).

http / eta2_enews

Wishing you a joyous and vegan New Year!

Yours sincerely,

The SAAW International team


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