SOS Animals Colombia had a conversation with Peter Singer

In August of this year, SOS Animals Colombia had the fortune to speak with the Australian philosopher Peter Singer, who is considered the father of the modern animal rights movement. Peter Singer is the author of the book “Animal Liberation” where the concept of “speciesism” was introduced to the debate on the moral consideration of animals. Peter Singer founded the organisation prior to what is now Animals Australia, the strongest animal rights organisation in the country. He is currently a professor of bioethics at Princeton University. In 2009, Time magazine included Peter Singer’s name in its list of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World.” Most recently, in 2012, he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in light of his notable contributions to the field of philosophy and bioethics, and last year he was presented with the Berggruen Prize, a $1 million award given annually to a thinker whose ideas have “profoundly shaped human self-understanding and advancement in a rapidly changing world.”

Professor Singer, how do you see the world and particularly Latin America in terms of animal protection from the time you started advocating for animals and today?

There is a lot more interest in animal protection now than there was in the 1970s, when I began advocating for animals. In particular, there is far more interest in protecting the animals people eat, who are overwhelmingly kept in factory farms.  I can see that there is also more interest in Latin America, and I am particularly impressed by the positive attitudes of some courts in Latin America to legal actions seeking to free animals. 

How do you see the situation in Colombia, have you closely followed the work that is being done for the animals?

I’m very glad that Petro won, and won very clearly.  I hope this will give him the courage to tackle Colombia’s problems, including of course the suffering of animals.

I strongly support all the initiatives of Andrea Padilla. Especially a ban on cages – including of course laying hens. The European Union is in principle committed to such a ban, but has not done it yet. Just imagine if Colombia would take the lead and do it first! That would be something that the entire country could be proud of!

What is your advice to new animal rights advocates? How can they make their work for animals effective in today’s world?

Join an established organisation, preferably one that is concerned for all animals, not just cats and dogs.  And especially one that is concerned about factory farming, as that is where humans inflict the greatest amount of suffering on animals.

A book that you recommend?

I recommend starting with “Animal Liberation” which is available in Spanish. I also recommend my latest book published with Paula Casal, “The Rights of the Apes”

We have seen that you are interested in Buddhism, do you think that Buddhism could help people to defend animals better?

If Buddhists are true to the key Buddhist idea of compassion for all sentient beings, then Buddhism could help.  But unfortunately, like all religions, Buddhism is very liable to be distorted, and it is regrettable that many Buddhists continue to eat animals, and even animals from factory farms, which is so contrary to the spirit of Buddha’s teachings. 

Support from Brussels for the ban on the export of live animals in Colombia

This week, Green Party MEP Tilly Metz, president of the European Parliament’s Animal Welfare and Conservation Intergroup, expressed her support for a possible ban on live exports in Colombia.

Through a message published on social media, the Luxembourg MEP expressed great enthusiasm for the Bill currently being discussed in the Colombian Congress. MEP Metz was emphatic about the need for both Colombia and the European Union to vote in favour of the ban on the export of live animals.

The European Union could be responsible for up to 80% of the world trade in live farm animals, with Spain being the main exporter of sheep to the Middle East and North Africa.

However, some countries have started making progress towards the walfare of farmed animals, such as Luxembourg, which earlier this year banned the practice, as well as New Zealand, which will ban live animal exports from April 2023. The Netherlands, will not approve exports to non-EU countries when animal welfare cannot be guaranteed and some German federal states such as Hessen, Bavaria, Brandenburg, Saxony and Lower Saxony, have also been adhering to the initiative.

If the Bill that progressively prohibits the maritime export of live animals for consumption purposes, led by animal rights senator Andrea Padilla, is approved, Colombia would join these countries and position itself as a leader in animal welfare in the region.

SOS Animals Colombia joins the call of MEP Tilly Metz and invites the Colombian congressmen and women and the national government to support the prohibition of this cruel and unnecessary practice in Colombia.

Learn more about the SOS Animals Colombia campaign here.

The European Union moves forward against deforestation

Beef, pork, sheep, goat, poultry, corn, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soybeans, wood, charcoal, and printed paper, including products that contain, have been fed, or have been manufactured with these basic products (such as leather, chocolate and furniture) that come from deforested areas will not be able to enter the European Union market.

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Why are manatees dying in Colombia?

Caribbean manatee and the Amazonian manatee are at risk due to incidental fishing, pollution, drought due to the hoarding of water by monoculture and livestock companies, the loss and fragmentation of their habitats, indiscriminate hunting for the consumption of their meat and entanglement with trammel nets or fishing gear.

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