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Media Release

City of Vancouver can save money and help tackle climate change through plant-based foods, says report

VANCOUVER, Nov 3, 2021 – Vancouver City Council is considering a motion today that could help decrease spending, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve animal welfare. The motion would support recommendations from a recently released report by the Vancouver Humane Society (VHS), which highlights the impact the City of Vancouver can make by replacing 20 percent of their animal-based food purchasing with plant-based alternatives.

The report looks at the current food purchasing strategies for the City of Vancouver and outlines the annual cost and greenhouse gas emissions associated with foods typically purchased. By making a shift in their purchasing, the City of Vancouver could expect to save up to $99,000; 500 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions; and the equivalent of nearly 400 farmed animal lives on an annual basis. The report outlines the impacts of three strategies that effectively replace 20 percent of animal-based foods purchased with plant-based alternatives.

“The evidence is clear that we need to shift our diets and our food system toward more humane and sustainable plant-based foods,” said VHS Campaign Director, Emily Pickett. “In Vancouver, the consumption of food makes up nearly half of the City’s ecological footprint, particularly from intensive agriculture producing meat and dairy products made from animals. There’s a lot of opportunity for positive change and we’re pleased to see this important discussion happening at the City of Vancouver level.”

The motion acknowledges that livestock farming is a significant contributor of greenhouse gas emissions; the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has advised that a plant-based diet can help in the fight against climate change. It goes on to highlight how a shift toward more sustainable and healthy plant-based foods aligns with existing City of Vancouver priorities, including the City’s Climate Emergency Action Plan and the Healthy City Strategy. The motion recommends that Council direct staff to consider the policy options outlined in VHS’s “Increasing Plant-Based Purchasing at the Municipal Level” report.

The full report can be accessed on the VHS website and the “Plant-Based Purchasing Savings for City and Climate” motion can be accessed on the City of Vancouver website.

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For further information: Emily Pickett: 604-416-2902, emily@vancouverhumanesociety.bc.ca

Related links:

https://vancouverhumanesociety.bc.ca/posts/municipal-plant-based-purchasing/

Categories
Opinion Editorial

Taking pets from the poor to give to the rich

Article originally published on Daily Hive.

When a child of a wealthy parent breaks their arm, they can go to the hospital, receive diagnostic x-rays, and be treated without their family worrying about the cost of care.

When the child of a low-income parent breaks their arm, they get the same treatment. That’s because mandatory medical expenses are covered under MSP in British Columbia. Unfortunately, the story would be very different if the family member needing care were a dog.

Veterinary care is not subsidized by the government, which leads to some bleak statistics. More than 100,000 pets were surrendered to Canadian shelters in 2019. Research tells us financial difficulties are one of the top reasons people give up their pets.

Those surrenders have a huge impact on families. 58% of Canadians have a cat or dog in their household; evidence shows that these companion animals provide emotional and mental health benefits to their human guardians and even help them react, cope, and recover from disaster situations. And yet, veterinary care is not considered a priority in the holistic care of Canadians – not widely, and certainly not in a way that is supported by government funding.

People who are living on a low income do not have the luxury of saving for emergencies. If their beloved pet falls ill, if they escape from the house and get hit by a car, or if they develop a suspicious lump on their paw, those animal guardians are forced to make almost impossible decisions.

One animal guardian who received assistance through Vancouver Humane Society’s (VHS) Helping Women and Pets in Crisis program said, “We spent our rent money to get him medicine in the hospital to prevent him from suffering. I accepted that I would have to without some basic needs and put off rent for a couple of months to catch up financially.”

These concerns are commonplace among the people who reach out to VHS for help with veterinary bills. Do I pay for my cat’s biopsy, or cover rent this month so we both have somewhere to live? Would my dog be better off if I manage his pain at home, or surrender him to an animal shelter that could give him the emergency surgery he needs?

This is where the current system of paid veterinary care runs into complicated equity issues. In cases when a person can’t afford needed veterinary services, they often have little choice but to give up their pet. That animal experiences the stress of losing the most important person in the world to them. In turn, they are adopted out to another, most often wealthier, family. The result is a system that effectively takes pets from the poor to give them to the rich.

One animal guardian VHS spoke with expressed their confusion and frustration with the current system: “I still have the fear if you can’t pay for the bill, they may ask you to surrender the animal. I didn’t want to surrender the animal. I can feed her. She’s loved. She’s not abused.”

Indeed, the oft-refuted claim that pets of people experiencing low income and homelessness are well cared for has now been backed by a study from the University of Guelph. The study affirms what low-income pet guardians have always known: that people experiencing low income and even homelessness care for and love their pets, going as far as to put their animal’s needs ahead of their own. All they need is a little support.

A recent research article published by VHS and Dalhousie University Professor Haorui Wu gives some insight into what form that support may take. Pet guardians who experienced barriers to veterinary care in 2020 said they could have more easily accessed care for their animals with the help of payment plans, compassionate pricing for low-income people, and government regulations to ensure consistent costs.

The article also suggests that veterinary staff receive training in trauma-informed practices, which would improve doctor-client communication, reduce stress for animal guardians and veterinary staff, and encourage low-income individuals to seek veterinary care before their animal’s health is in such a severe state of crisis that they must be euthanized.

British Columbia is facing a veterinarian shortage, with severe related mental health impacts. Add to that a housing shortage and an opioid crisis, and the outlook for pets is not good in our province.

If we want mental health support for all, financial security for all, and equity for all, the choice is clear: we need accessible, trauma-informed veterinary care for all.

Categories
Media Release

“Nobody should have to choose between paying rent and for veterinary care,” says pet guardian in new research from Vancouver Humane Society

VANCOUVER, Oct 26, 2021 – People living on a low income have strong bonds with their pets. However, structural barriers – like a lack of animal-friendly transportation and financial affordability – make it difficult for these loving guardians to access needed veterinary care. The existing barriers have been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, when animal hospitals had to cancel or limit appointments and guardians were unable to accompany their pets into the clinic.

new journal article published by the Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) and Dalhousie University Professor Haorui Wu offers unique insight into the barriers faced by low-income people accessing veterinary care in 2020. The article details the lived experiences and recommendations of twelve animal guardians who accessed financial support for urgent veterinary services.

“I still have the fear if you can’t pay for the bill, they may ask you to surrender the animal,” explained one animal guardian living on a low income. “I didn’t want to surrender the animal. I can feed her. She’s loved. She’s not abused.” When a veterinarian or animal shelter requires a low-income person to surrender their pet to get access to veterinary care, a serious ethical dilemma exists as the pet is then rehomed into a wealthier family.

Examining and addressing barriers to veterinary care is a key part of creating a more equitable society. Companion animals are an essential part of their guardians’ lives now more than ever – with evidence suggesting that animals positively impact how people react, cope, and recover from disaster situations.

“Nobody should have to choose between paying rent and for veterinary care,” another participant said. “I find that a really scary thought.”

The article lays out suggestions to help low-income animal guardians access care, such as offering payment plans and training staff to offer trauma-informed services – the same approach used by social services workers who already interact with underserved communities daily. Creating an environment where all guardians can access veterinary care can reduce their stress, help animals get the urgent care they need, and encourage low-income individuals to bring their pets in for preventative care before their health is in crisis. It can also remove the need for financially motivated euthanasia, which needlessly takes animal lives and takes a severe mental toll on veterinarians and technicians.

The research process was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). It can be found on the VHS website.

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For further information: Amy Morris: 604-416-2901, amy@vancouverhumanesociety.bc.ca

Related links:

https://vancouverhumanesociety.bc.ca/posts/new-research-veterinary-care-covid-19

Categories
News/Blog

New research examines barriers to veterinary care during COVID-19

Taking your companion animal to the clinic can be a stressful experience for anyone—between trying to make difficult decisions and pets struggling in a new environment. For people living on a low income who access veterinary services during COVID-19, the stress of accessing care can be amplified beyond belief.

“I still have the fear if you can’t pay for the bill, they may ask you to surrender the animal,” explained one animal guardian living on a low income. “I didn’t want to surrender the animal. I can feed her. She’s loved.”

VHS examines the unique set of barriers low-income individuals face when accessing veterinary care during COVID-19 in a new research article. The article, entitled “Barriers to Care in Veterinary Services: Lessons Learned From Low-Income Pet Guardians’ Experiences at Private Clinics and Hospitals During COVID-19”, details the lived experiences and recommendations of twelve animal guardians who accessed financial support for emergency veterinary services from VHS’s McVitie Fund in 2020.

“I still have the fear if you can’t pay for the bill, they may ask you to surrender the animal. I didn’t want to surrender the animal. I can feed her. She’s loved.”

The article affirms what anyone who shares their heart and home with a pet already knows: that the bond between an animal and their guardian is unique and valuable. Sharing a life with a companion animal has countless emotional and mental health benefits. In fact, evidence suggests that animals positively impact how people react, cope, and recover from disaster situations.

People living on a low income, who have often faced other barriers in their life due to oppression, trauma, disability, or mental illness, benefit strongly from sharing this bond with their animal loved ones. Providing people with the support to keep their animals healthy and at home is not only the humane thing to do; it is a key part of building a just and equitable society.

The research article raises suggestions for improving access to services, including:

  • payment plans
  • compassionate pricing for individuals living on a low income
  • government regulations to standardize veterinary bills

Animals and guardians would also benefit from services using a trauma-informed approach—which is highlighted in a recent report from VHS.

Reducing the financial strain and relieving the mental stress of low-income animal guardians would have far-reaching impacts. These measures would:

1. Improve the lives of animals their guardians.

A person hugging a brown dog outdoors

Animals would be able to receive the care they need and stay in their loving homes.

2. Reduce burnout in animal services staff.

An animal clinic staff member holding a cat while she gets an ultrasound

Animal services staff experience high rates of burnout and compassion fatigue from interacting with anxious animal guardians and facing seemingly hopeless situations in the face of financial barriers. Offering more options for low-income animal guardians would empower animal services staff to have more positive interactions with their clients.

3. Encourage animal guardians to seek veterinary care more often.

A person carries a dog toward a veterinarian's office for a regular check-up

In one study, one in four animal guardians could not afford to seek preventative veterinary care. Having more financial options and positive experiences with veterinary care would motivate animal guardians to seek care for their animal before their health concern becomes a health crisis.

4. Remove the need for financially motivated euthanasia.

Close-up of a cat pawing at the door to his carrier in an animal hospital

When guardians cannot afford preventative care or treatment for a health crisis, often the only other option is euthanizing their beloved animal to end their pain. Financially motivated euthanasia needlessly takes animal lives and takes a severe mental toll on both guardians and veterinarians. Improved services for low-income animal guardians would quite literally save lives.

The research article was written in collaboration with Dalhousie University Professor Haorui Wu and was made possible through the support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). You can access and review the article using the button below.

How can you help?

Vancouver Humane Society continues to advocate for structural change that would ensure all companion animals can get the care they need. Until that dream becomes a reality, generous animal advocates like you make it possible to provide emergency financial assistance to animals and their guardians in need through VHS’s McVitie Fund.

Urgent care for pets

All donations toward VHS’s McVitie Fund are currently being matched by an anonymous donor. Can you give today to make double the difference in the lives of companion animals?

Categories
News/Blog

Stand up for animals in the 2021 election

Will you vote for animals?

This election, you have the power to vote for a kinder Canada for all animals.

Take action for animals in the election!

Contact your candidates and get familiar with each party’s election promises.

2021 is the first year that animal protection is being widely recognized as an election issue in Canada, with commitments made by a number of parties on animal issues.

This is great news for the growing number of Canadians who would like to see a more compassionate country for all who live here. In fact, a 2021 survey from World Animal Protection found that 70% of Canadians believe animal protection and welfare are somewhat or very important issues in terms of deciding who they will vote for.

You can find an overview of the animal issues being raised by advocates this year and links to all five of the main political parties’ platforms in this post from Humane Canada. The 2021 policy platform from Humane Canada offers recommendations in the following areas:

Legal framework and governance

Canada’s legislation lags behind other countries on the international stage, from the UK’s recognition of animals as sentient beings to Mexico’s recent ban on cosmetic animal testing. Recommendations in this area include creating a ministry or interdepartmental group as the central hub of animal protection in federal government.

Public safety

Evidence shows that there is a link between violence against animals and violence against humans. By formally recognizing the Violence Link, Canada can begin to take steps to ensure better public safety for both humans and animals.

Companion animals

Companion animals are a key part of many families in Canada; they share our lives and homes and offer many mental health benefits. One of the recommendations for companion animals involves ensuring access to veterinary care. Currently, people who are living on a low income who cannot afford veterinary care are often forced to make the difficult choice to surrender their beloved animal to a shelter in order to get the care they need. This practice harms both the human and the animal by breaking up their bond and discounting their mental health. The Canadian government can improve access to these essential services by implementing a federally supported preventative and affordable veterinary care strategy.

Farmed animals

Canada’s regulations around the protection of farmed animals are in need of updates and adequate enforcement. Recommendations include addressing outdated and inhumane practices currently being used in animal agriculture, such as painful confinement and excessive travel times. Animal advocates can also reduce the suffering of farmed animals by calling on the government to support a transition to and subsidies for more sustainable plant-based farming.

Wild animals

Zoonotic disease (disease transmitted from animals to humans) from wildlife accounts for at least 70 per cent of all emerging diseases, including COVID-19. The Canadian government must take action to end Canada’s part in the cruel and dangerous global wildlife trade in order to improve the well-being of animals and reduce the risk of future pandemics.

Here is how you can use your voting power to speak up for animals.

Take action

1. Call on your local candidates to commit to action for animals both during and after the election.

The quick email tool to candidates has now ended. Please see the homepage for the current actions you can take to help animals.

2. Watch the animal protection debate to hear each party’s stance on animal protection.

The animal protection debate was hosted by Animal Justice, Montreal SPCA, Nation Rising, Vancouver Humane Society, and World Animal Protection on Sunday, September 12, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. PST. All parties with representation in Parliament were invited to participate. The debate was moderated by journalist Holly Lake.

You can watch a recording of the debate below:

3. Call your candidates to ask that they make animal protection a priority.

You can find the contact information for all your local candidates on the Elections Canada website. Type in your postal code and select “Who are the candidates in my electoral district?”

4. Share this page on social media with #IVoteForAnimals

5. Vote on election day!

Vancouver Humane Society is committed to working with the winning candidates to build a kinder Canada for all animals.

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News/Blog

5 activities to help children love animals

Looking for animal-friendly activities for kids? Try these 5 activities to help your children develop a love of animals!

There is something special about the bond between children and animals.

Children are fascinated by animals; they are able to connect with them on an emotional level and empathize with their perspective. Having empathy for animals helps children to grow in a number of ways. Children who learn to respect animals also:

  • develop a respect for other lives
  • learn to read nonverbal cues
  • develop lifelong compassion

But how can parents and caregivers help children foster a love of animals?

This question has come up recently in the Lower Mainland, where the City of New Westminster launched a public consultation seeking feedback and ideas from residents for alternatives to the Queen’s Park petting farm. This is a great move toward more animal-friendly public spaces; you can read more about why replacing the petting farm is a win for animal welfare and public health and safety in our latest blog post.

Luckily, there are many ways for children to develop empathy for animals outside of petting farms. Keep reading for more ideas!

1. Go for a wildlife walk

Two young children looking out at seagulls on the ocean.

New Westminster and the rest of the Lower Mainland are filled with beautiful walking trails! You can also spot many species of urban wildlife like squirrels and pigeons around the city. Try visiting a local trail or park to look for birds, squirrels, frogs, and other small wildlife.

Seeing wild animals can give children the same sense of wonder as seeing captive ones—without causing animal suffering. Bonus: this activity has an added educational element! Viewing wildlife from a distance helps children to understand that humans share our environment with many animals who should be given space and respect.

2. Watch a wildlife webcam

Rubbing Beach – Underwater powered by EXPLORE.org

See for yourself what it looks like when the orcas in British Columbia’s Johnstone Strait take part in the unique behavior called “beach rubbing.” Watch live and learn more about orcas on Explore.org @ https://goo.gl/sYStfy. EXPLORE is the largest live nature cam network on the planet.

Looking to learn about other ecosystems and animals a little farther from home? There are many webcams set up around the world to observe wildlife in their natural habitats, like this daily live safari or these orca cameras right here in B.C.

Talk about what the animals are doing, such as looking for food to eat or caring for their babies. Caregivers can also introduce children to the concept of conservation by explaining that it’s important to have spaces in nature where animals can live free.

3. Visit a farm sanctuary

A happy toddler pets a calf at a farm sanctuary

If you’re able to travel a little farther, consider visiting a farm sanctuary or even volunteering! Farm sanctuaries value compassion for all living beings, so children can learn about having empathy for animals and creating a kinder world. You can find a map of farm sanctuaries near you from P.E.A.C.E.

If you don’t have the chance to take a day trip, you can still learn all about farm sanctuaries and meet some of the animals with this informative video from The Happy Herd.

4. Interact with companion animals

A girl lies on the floor with a dog

Having companion animals at home is a great way for children to learn to care for another life. However, not everyone can have animals in their home. If you are able to, consider visiting or meeting up with a friend and their companion animal so your child can meet and interact with them. Families with older children can also check whether their local animal shelter has youth volunteer opportunities.

Interacting with companion animals can help children to learn social skills like nonverbal cues. For instance, teaching a child that a dog wants to be patted when she is nuzzling, sniffing them, and wagging her tail; or that she wants her own space when she begins to walk away.

5. Read stories with animal characters

Storytime with Esther T.W. Pig: The True Adventures of Esther the Wonder Pig

Relax, sit down, and have a listen to “The True Adventures of Esther the Wonder Pig”. You can also check out a digital copy of the book, FREE of charge, on our website at www.estherthewonderpig.com Enjoy.❤️

Children do not need to touch or even see animals to love them—just ask any kid who is obsessed with dinosaurs! Books do a great job of helping children empathize with characters they would not necessarily meet in their day to day life, including animals. Here are some of our favourite children’s books with animal characters:

  • The True Adventures of Esther the Wonder Pig (recommended for ages 4-8 years)
  • Charlotte’s Web (recommended for ages 7-10 years)
  • Black Beauty (recommended for ages 8-12 years)

After you read with your child, you can help them understand even more about the animal in the story by looking up child-friendly facts about that species.

Looking for more animal-friendly activities for kids?

Find more resources to help children learn about animals on the Vancouver Humane Society website.

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News/Blog

Take action for animals at the New Westminster Petting Farm

Take action for animals at the Queen’s Park Petting Farm

Tell the City of New Westminster you support their move toward animal-friendly public spaces

Will you support animal-friendly public spaces in New Westminster?

Earlier this year, VHS wrote to New Westminster City Council regarding the Queen’s Park Petting Farm. We shared a briefing note highlighting our evidence-based concerns related to animal welfare, public health and safety, and public education. The note included considerations such as:

  • Petting zoos are stressful for animals, who have little or no way to escape from unwanted petting, chasing, noise, and crowds.
  • Studies show that petting zoos can host diseases such as E. coli and Salmonella and can be a breeding ground for antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
  • Most children who visit petting zoos do not gain any new knowledge about animals or conservation. (See these animal-friendly alternatives for more educational family activities.)
  • The smell of animals in petting zoos can attract coyotes.

We recommended that municipal decision-makers close the petting farm and are pleased to see City Council moving in this direction. The City of New Westminster recently launched a public consultation seeking feedback and ideas from residents for an alternative long-term future for the space at Queen’s Park.

Take action:

1. Residents of New Westminster can participate in the online forum now!

We’re encouraging New Westminster residents to participate in the consultation and show their support for closing the petting farm and shifting the space to be focused instead on local, sustainable food production. This is a prime opportunity to improve public access to humane, healthy, and sustainable plant-based food. Share your excitement and ideas with municipal decision-makers!

Some ideas that have been suggested in the consultation are:

  • A community garden with plant-based food preparation lessons
  • A space for seasonal classes such as preparing balcony produce planters
  • A pollination garden

For more background information and VHS’s recommendations to City Council, read our briefing note on the Queen’s Park Petting Farm.

2. Know someone in New Westminster?

Share this page with your animal-friendly friends and family using the buttons below.

3. Share the tweets below.

Thank you @New_Westminster for taking action to create animal-friendly alternatives to the Queen’s Park Petting Farm.
Vancouver Humane Society
Tweet
The move by @New_Westminster to reimagine the Queen’s Park Petting Farm space is great news for animal welfare, public health and safety, and family education.
Vancouver Humane Society
Tweet
Petting farms are stressful for animals and can be a health hazard for humans. I support the move by @New_Westminster toward a more animal-friendly and family-friendly public space in Queen’s Park.
Vancouver Humane Society
Tweet

Read the briefing note:

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News/Blog

Your input helps animals!

Vancouver Humane Society is planning our animal advocacy work for the next year—and we need your help! Can you take three minutes to fill out the 2022 Vancouver Humane Society survey and share your animal protection priorities for 2022?

Your input will help us to make important decisions as we work together to build a kinder world for animals by:

  • Targeting key decision-makers to reduce animal suffering across B.C. and Canada
  • Working with governments and agencies to implement more humane policies and practices
  • Assisting placed-at-risk people and their companion animals to access the veterinary care they need
  • Sharing important information to help people make compassionate choices

To show our appreciation for your time completing the survey, you will have the option to enter to win a $50 gift card to Vegan Supply.

UPDATE: The survey is now closed. You can learn more about VHS’s current work to help animals in our latest news section.

Categories
Opinion Editorial

It’s an inconvenient truth that fish are sentient and feel pain

Article originally published in The Georgia Straight.

Ready for another inconvenient truth?  Here’s one: fish feel pain, are sentient, and are far more intelligent than we thought.

Even more inconvenient—we need to do something about it.

The scientific evidence that fish are sentient (able to feel and perceive things) has been piling up over the past few decades, but this information, much less its implications, has yet to permeate public consciousness.

When people think of fish, it’s usually as food, sport, or something to look at in an aquarium. Are we ready to accept that fish have feelings?

There is now a scientific consensus that fish feel pain. Research has shown that, like mammals, they have pain receptors (nociceptors) that detect injury. And, although their nervous systems and brains are different from ours, they are capable of experiencing pain. Studies have found that fish change their behaviour when subjected to a painful event and that painkillers prevent that behaviour, indicating that they are suffering, not just physically reacting to a negative stimulus.

In her groundbreaking 2010 book Do Fish Feel Pain?, biologist Victoria Braithwaite summed up her view on the issue: “I have argued that there is as much evidence that fish feel pain and suffer as there is for birds and mammals—and more than there is for human neonates and preterm babies.”

But fish can feel more than pain. Research has shown they can experience feardepression, and pleasure. The case for fish sentience has been eloquently made by Jonathan Balcombe in his book What a Fish Knows, which he says he was inspired to write “when I became aware of fascinating scientific discoveries about fishes that revealed rich, complex lives, and I realized how very little of this information was reaching the public consciousness”.

Many scientists now subscribe to such views. Culum Brown, a biologist at MacQuarie University in Australia who has studied fish cognition and behaviour for 25 years, has said, “You should think about fish in the same way you think about a pig or a cow.”

Evidence for fish intelligence is also well established. One remarkable example is the cognitive ability of the frillfin goby, a small fish frequently trapped in rock pools when the tide goes out. Often, the gobies jump from pool to pool, but how do they know where the next pool is and how far to jump? Scientists have researched this question for a number of years, concluding that the gobies are able to make a mental map of the positions of the pools so they know exactly where to jump. So much for the myth that fish have a three-second memory.

Studies have found that fish use toolsrecognize other fish, and can recognize themselves in a mirror (an ability previously thought to be confined to humans and a few other animals such as primates and dolphins.)

Our image of fish as dead-eyed, silent, scaly creatures makes it hard to regard them as intelligent beings with feelings, but the science cannot be ignored. We need to change the way we think about fish.

That means thinking about fish welfare. We give many other animals—dogs, cats, farm animals, terrestrial wildlife—at least some measure of welfare protection under the law or through regulation. Fish get almost none.

Improving their welfare is challenging, but there are steps that consumers, government, and industry can take.

As vegetarians and vegans will argue, the best step is to stop eating fish and switch to a plant-based diet. It’s an ethical choice that would also reduce the consumption that has led to 90 percent of the world’s marine fish stocks being fully exploited, overexploited, or depleted.

For those who do eat fish, there are few humane choices. Hooks hurt. Fish suffocate when they are hauled out of the water. Some pioneering fishers have invested in technology to stun fish within seconds of being brought aboard, but such methods are rare in the fishing industry.

Fish farms are notorious for poor fish welfare and environmental problems, but the development of Canada’s first code of practice for farmed salmonids is a sign that fish welfare is starting to be taken seriously.

Such developments may take years to have a significant impact on fish welfare. They need support and investment from government and industry.

In the meantime, it’s best to leave fish off your plate.

Categories
News/Blog

Animal champions make a difference at Because They Matter

Loretta, who spends her days outside on the Downtown Eastside, has been looking after her sister’s dog Beans while she has been ill in the hospital. She wanted to do something nice for her sister when she is reunited with her beloved dog, but she couldn’t afford a gift. Luckily, VHS was offering free pet supplies in Pigeon Park for our Because They Matter event this weekend. Loretta dropped by VHS’s table and picked up a better-fitting harness and collar for Beans.

Loretta is just one of the hundreds of people VHS staff and volunteers connected with at our first-ever Because They Matter fundraising and outreach event.

During the event, staff and volunteers handed out harnesses, leashes, collars, blankets, toys, water bowls, plant-based dog treats, and resources for veterinary assistance to happy animals and grateful guardians who spend their days on the streets of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

You can see some of the happy recipients of these care items in the photos below.

Participants also raised more than $12,000 for vital animal protection efforts.

We would like to thank the amazing participants, donors, and sponsors who made this event possible, including local businesses:

  • Discover Dogs
  • Good Boy Collective
  • The Cat and Dog Shop
  • The Pet Shop Club
  • The Raw Connoisseurs

Want to participant in or donate toward this years Because They Matter event? You can sign up or donate using the link below! Thank you for helping to build a kinder world for animals!