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Animal Rights

Dear Friends, Animal Lovers and Advocates,

March 17th, Britain's Commons will vote on Henry Smith's bill banning the import of animals killed for 'fun' (trophies).  

This bill has the overwhelming (86%) support of the British public.


What a signal Great Britain would send if the country that invented trophy hunting during the heyday of Imperialism, now unequivocally rejected that symbol?  And what a challenge to America's animal rights community to step-up our game?


Join me, Paula Sparks, Eduardo Gonçalves and Prof. David Bilchitz as we discuss neocolonialism, Ubuntu, false claims of conservation, Maasai eviction and the corrupting influence of America's Safari Club International. 


Cheers and thank you,

Tamara Bedić, Esq.

Animal Rights Committee, Chair

National Lawyers Guild, NYC




Click to listen:





Expect a steep rise in the price of eggs as
load-shedding takes a heavy toll on the welfare of chickens

Load-shedding and the laying hen:

When a hen feels too hot, she will lift her wings away from her body to allow ventilation to cool her down.

In a battery cage, squashed together with four other hens each with a space-allowance the size of a shoe box, it is simply impossible for her to lift her wings, or to perform any other behavior that might cool her down.  

Imagine being just one of 20 000 hens in a shed subjected to the searing heat of Africa’s summers, and bombarded by the relentless din of massive fans built into the walls of the shed to extract toxic build-up of ammonia from the faeces that collect beneath the cages. Add to this, the relentless din of generators that are meant to kick in when load-shedding hits, as farmers desperately try to keep the ambient temperature within the sheds at a survivable level.

South Africa’s laying hens are set to stay caged in a space allowance the size of a shoebox until 2039 at least.



Only our purchasing power can free laying hens

from their relentless torment.

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450sq cm

Please sign this petition to supermarket MD’s, appealing for their cooperation in achieving:

  • a phase-out of eggs from caged hens

  • the conversion of battery sheds to barns by taking out the cages.

  • the immediate labelling of barn eggs as “BARN EGGS”

Compassion in World Farming SA will present the petition to supermarket heads across the country as soon as we have a significant number of signatures. 

There is a negligible price difference between cage eggs and barn eggs. While not free range, barn eggs nevertheless allow the humble hen the ability to walk, stretch her wings and lay her eggs in a nest.

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As the sixteen days of activism against gender-based violence kicked off on 25 November 2022, let us be aware that the abuse of animals is not a separate issue. Neglect and cruelty to animals is a harbinger of anti-social and violent behavior towards people.

Phil Arkow, co-author of the leading research manual on Child Abuse, Domestic Violence and Animal Abuse: Linking the Circles of Compassion for Prevention and Intervention makes it clear:

“The maltreatment of animals in our communities is the overt expression of violence against women and children that is hidden behind closed doors.”

Together, we can begin to heal our communities. It starts with those who have no voice at all. Join the United Nations-inspired learning platform and choose a free-to-download lesson plan for the kids in your classroom.

Louise van der Merwe

Managing Trustee: The Humane Education Trust 

Director: Nature-Based Education

Email:  |  Website: 

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All who work towards a better world

Right now, at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Egypt, world leaders are meeting to discuss the future of our planet. But they’re still not facing up to the devastating effects of factory farming. The global food system is harming animals, damaging human health, and fuelling the climate crisis. This cannot go on. We need international political action to transform the future of our food. That’s why Compassion in World Farming South Africa is launching a global campaign for a United Nations agreement to end factory farming.


Please sign the petition HERE


As global leaders prepare to attend the twin summits

— Climate COP in Egypt, and Biodiversity COP in Canada —   

the major challenge facing the rest of us is a shift in mind-set.

The Guardian puts it like this: It is only “by changing the way we think”  nothing short of a “radical mind-set shift” among “ordinary people” — that we will avert the collapse of the natural world on which we depend for “every drop of water we drink, every molecule of oxygen we breathe and every morsel of food we eat.”



In order to help achieve this shift in mind-set for our children who trust they will inherit a healthy and prosperous tomorrow,

The Humane Education Trust has made its Nature-Based educational platform freely available to 'ordinary people'... 

indeed, to everyone.

Lesson plans are curriculum-aligned, easily downloadable, and FREE, and

bring about a full understanding of the UN concept ONE HEALTH ONE WELFARE.


Dear Friends,

This photograph by South African journalist Brent Stirton won him the Wildlife Photographer of the Year award in October 2022. It shows the dying moments of mountain gorilla Ndakasi, in the arms of ranger Andre Bauma who had rescued her 13 years before and subsequently cared for her at the Senkwekwe Centre, Democratic Republic of Congo.

For me, this photograph symbolizes the era in which I have lived, a 70-year time-span during which many people, including myself, have strived heart and soul to set a-right the wrongs we humans have imposed on the lives of other species. Even the mask that Andre Bauma wears is a reflection of how we have recklessly killed off wild habitats to the point of making ourselves vulnerable to diseases like Covid-19. As I see it, the picture embodies not only the tragedy of our recklessness but our desire, to our core, to reconnect with the natural world.



On the same day as this photograph was published in the Cape Times, a Law Society report appeared on my computer screen. It was about ‘Law in the Emerging Bio Age’, and what it contained was uplifting beyond measure. According to the report, law experts believe that granting legal rights to nonhuman entities like animals, trees and rivers is essential if countries are to achieve success in tackling climate breakdown and biodiversity loss. Ecuador, Bolivia and New Zealand have started the ball rolling. Ecocide may soon become a prosecutable offence at the international criminal court. A synopsis of the Law Society report is seen here in an article from the Guardian:


As managing trustee of The Humane Education Trust, together with a small handful of devoted donors at my side, we have spent more than three decades developing resources aimed at rekindling the spirit of care and respect for all life. Recently UN Secretary General António Guterres bolstered this effort when he appealed for the world to “make peace with nature” and to “invest in nature-based education”. The freely downloadable lesson plans on our platform are designed to achieve just this.

Ironically the Bio Age into which we are being forced by Climate Change, may turn out to be the very best age of all because nothing fulfils the human spirit as much as witnessing our capacity to heal.

Louise van der Merwe
Managing Trustee: The Humane Education Trust
Director: Nature Based Education
SA Representative: Compassion in World Farming
Cape Town, South Africa
Email:  | Mobile: 082 457 9177  |  |

While the Australian government announced in August 2022 that battery cages for laying hens will be a thing of the past by 2036...

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Free Range Poultry Farm

the South African government remains adamant that on grounds of unemployment and poverty, battery eggs are here to stay!

The Humane Education Trust continues to strive for a phase-out of battery cages for South Africa’s laying hens. HET is also championing the awesome endeavour by Boschveld Chickens  to bring humanitarian and welfare-friendly eggs to both urban and rural communities around South Africa and beyond.  

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Entrepreneurial rural citizens are showing that with the Boschveld system, they can make around R4000.00 a month.

HERE'S HOW: At R35 000.00 all told...

Boschveld’s easy-to-construct MOBILE CHICKEN RUN comes with 100 chickens, a solar panel and battery pack, vegetable seeds, young nut and fruit trees, training and skills transfer.

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The mobile system provides:  

  • Fresh soil every 30 days

  • The best protein for good health (eggs)

  • Farming skills, entrepreneurship, employment, and food security 

  • Green energy (the solar panel and battery pack provide enough power to charge 13 cell phones, 5 lap-tops and 4 LED lights)

  • Vegetables (grown with the chickens’ natural compost instead of costly synthetic fertilizer and pesticides)

  • Animal welfare that includes all Five Freedoms for Animals 

Boschveld Eggs 

are championed by


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By buying these eggs you are supporting better lives for all!

Mike Bosch inspires farmers to go cage-free at the Department of Agriculture’s Farmers’ Day in Limpopo province in August. 

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Eskom’s impact
factory farms


As South Africans grow ever more frustrated with Eskom, the implications of load-shedding for poultry farmers becomes even more dire.

In an article headed ‘Poultry farmers watch birds die’, the journal Business Insider South Africa reports on what happens when the power cuts out and the huge cost of a generator is not an option for the chickens crammed into massive sheds on the factory farm. In short, load-shedding has catastrophic implications for the farmers – and their chickens.


We are reminded once again of the millions of laying hens trapped in cages in South Africa in order to produce eggs at the cheapest possible price. Take a glimpse into the bowels of hell in this article from India titled Waiting for Justice: A Critique on the Continuing Use of Battery Cages in India, authored by law students  Akshay Singh and Yatan Kwatra:


The photo is not unique to India. The photo could just as well have been taken in South Africa, or any other country that continues to allow the production of eggs from hens crammed into battery cages.

Please avoid buying eggs that are not identified as ‘free range’ or ‘pasture reared’ or ‘outside eggs’ or barn eggs because if you do, you are condemning birds to a hideous existence !!

Compassion in World Farming International has done it again!

At an up-beat awards ceremony yesterday, Compassion HQ led the way to a brighter future by presenting Compass Group with the first-ever full Planet Friendly Award for its commitment to reduce animal-sourced proteins by 25% by 2025.

And Waitrose won Best Retailer Innovation Award for developing an App to measure the emotional wellbeing of animals in a drive to continually improve their quality of life.

South Africa:

Let’s get into the running for next year’s awards!


Read CEO Philip Lymbery’s

account of the full awards ceremony here:

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The United Nations’ One Health concept leaves us in no doubt that the health and welfare of humans, animals and the environment are interconnected.


Read Philip Lymbery’s article on a facet of this interconnection between pigs, chickens, penguins and ourselves!  

As never before, there is a groundswell of human awareness that compels us to participate in the healing and restoration of our magnificent planet.

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22 April 2022


Astonishingly, as recently as the mid-1980s the notion that human babies didn't feel pain, still lingered in society.

Today the question of physical and emotional experience has moved beyond humans to animals, including invertebrates like insects, crabs and octopus, and the weight of compelling evidence of sentience suggests we need to include these animals too, into our moral circle of concern.


In 2005, the late Professor Wangari Maathai

became the first woman in Africa to receive the Nobel Peace Prize

for the Green Belt Movement she founded.

Today, the Green Belt flourishes with 51 million trees planted across Kenya. That’s a lot of habitat for birds and wildlife, and a significant contribution to the mitigation of global warming.

The Green Belt Movement is now a Global Alliance Partner of The Earthshot Prize launched by

Prince William to support projects that will repair

and heal our planet.


Professor Maathai took a stand for animal welfare too. She said: “Respect them, protect them,

speak for them.”

See an inspirational clip of Professor Maathai speaking at the University of Cape Town here:

See a special project in South Africa, changing landfill into forest.

Lesson Plan Grade 8 from slide 13 - 16

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The world has only recently acknowledged that animals are sentient beings, just like ourselves.

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Pigs emotions decoded

But now scientists are discovering just how highly sentient they are!

In a world first, scientists have translated pig grunts into the emotions they are feeling - from happy and excited to scared or stressed, and other emotions in-between. 

Using more than 7000 audio recordings of pig-talk, a team of international researchers has designed an algorithm that is able to classify 92% of grunts, squeals, screams, barks and other calls into the correct emotion.

The next step is to develop the algorithm into an app that can be used to assess the welfare of pigs.

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Join the dots...
from poultry and pork to pandemic

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At some stage in the future we will be forced to face the emergence of a new pathogen that sparks a pandemic. The risk is high and the time is now to drastically reduce our dependence on factory farming in order to return health to the planet.

South Africa's war on wild animals
"If you want to kill animals for fun, South Africa is the place. Topping the list of favourites by trophy hunters are lions, baboons, southern lechwes, caracals and vervet monkeys."
Read here:

A reduction of animal protein to just 20% of our total diet may well prove to be the vital intervention that prevents the emergence of further highly pathogenic zoonotic diseases such as coronavirus, according to a new report by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

In the report, the IUCN, which enjoys special observer status at the UN General Assembly, calls for an international policy that will stop the expansion of factory farming, and gradually reduce and replace animal protein with a mostly plant-based diet. It states: “Poultry and pigs have been identified as the priority species for risk, and this is increasing as populations of these animals grow exponentially.” Pathogens emerge and adapt to humans due to the abundance, proximity and “massive growth in animal exploitation and captive wildlife industries.”

The report concludes that domesticated animal populations need to reduce by some 75% in order to mitigate the risk of emerging diseases, achieve reforestation, and the recovery of biodiversity and ecosystems.

See full report here

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World Wildlife Day

03 March 2022

As a South African it is heart-breaking to learn this week that our government has sanctioned the invasion of wild places to hunt 10 black rhino, 10 leopards, and 150 elephants.


South Africa’s valued icon, the late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu put it this way:

“I have spent my life fighting discrimination and injustice, whether the victims are blacks, women, or gays and lesbians.”

Ironically, this announcement coincides with an article in the New Yorker as to “whether animals represent the latest frontier in the extension of rights.” The article observes that “humanity seems to be edging towards a radical new accommodation with the animal kingdom.”

Consider this:

Through a mindset of superiority and entitlement, we have made the magnificent nonhumans that share the earth with us, impotent and powerless. Yet the argument for animal rights does not decrease respect for human life. It increases respect for all life.

A brief look at the history of liberation shows us:

  • 170 years ago it would have been thought absurd that slavery would end 

  • 120 years ago it would have been inconceivable that women should have the right to vote 

  • 35 years ago Nelson Mandela’s release from prison was just a dream

  • 30 years ago, advocating for gay rights was ridiculed 

  • When will nonhumans be liberated from human oppression?

But, he says, “there are other issues of justice, not only for human beings but also for the world’s other sentient creatures. The matter of the abuse and cruelty we inflict on other animals has to fight for our attention in what sometimes seems an already overful moral agenda. It is vital, however, that these instances of injustice not be overlooked.


“I have seen first-hand how injustice gets overlooked when the victims are powerless or vulnerable, when they have no one to speak up for them and no means of representing themselves to a higher authority. Animals are in precisely that position. Unless we are mindful of their interests and speak out loudly on their behalf, abuse and cruelty goes unchallenged.”

Archbishop Tutu’s statement forms the foreword of The Global Guide to Animal Protection, a 323-page resource published by the University of Illinois Press and edited by Rev Prof Andrew Linzey, Director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics.

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As consumers, we would like to trust that the animals that provide our food, have led lives worth living!

 * Tragically, most have lived in a dystopia unimaginable to ourselves *

Scientists say pigs are as intelligent as the Great Apes, yet they are…

  • Born to mothers who are immobilized in iron cages

  • Raised in squalor and deprivation

  • Slaughtered as juveniles gasping for breath 

For details of their horrific existence, read Compassion in World Farming’s CEO Philip Lymbery’s article ‘If Pigs were Pets’. 

There are around 120 000 breeding sows in South Africa, each providing 20-odd piglets a year to become bacon and ham. Routinely, they will spend the first eight weeks of their 16-week pregnancies in horrific confinement, immobilised in crates like this: Footage taken on Cape Town’s Wine Route


After 8 full weeks of being unable to move backwards, forwards or sideways, they spend the next 7 - 8 weeks in group housing before being incarcerated in farrowing crates to give birth and suckle their piglets for a further 3 - 4 weeks.

Since mother pigs are impregnated twice each year, this means she spends roughly half a year, every year, unable to move or perform any of her natural behaviours. 

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Last week a major investor in McDonald’s USA described the keeping of pregnant pigs in metal crates as ‘obscene’.  


See here:


When it comes to global warming none of us can sit back and hope for the best.


In alignment with the JPMorgan Chase report, Compassion in World Farming (South Africa) is glad to offer our online powerpoint presentation 

“Investing in a Carbon Conscious World” 

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JPMorgan Chase is yet another global banking institution that has taken a

lead position on the urgent need to transform global food systems to prevent

extremes of climate change and environmental collapse.

In a report published in February 2022, titled 

Establishing a Framework for Food and Agriculture Sustainability Transition (“FAST”)

JPMorgan Chase points out that food transition is one of the best tools for fighting climate change. 

Please see an analysis of the implications of this investment by the IFC, authored by Compassion in World Farming’s global CEO Philip Lymbery here: 


Compassion in World Farming supports the United Nations’ call to mitigate climate change through transforming our food systems as informed by the UNs’ Food Systems Summit as well as Cop26, both of which became significant global events last year in the fight against global warming.

Please take action as explained below:

For the sake of mitigating global warming, protecting Africa’s biodiversity, as well as the health of its people, please write to Africa’s IFC Executive Director Armando Manuel from Angola and alternate Executive Director Khathutshelo Todani from South Africa, urging them to redirect funding away from industrial livestock production, as set out in our powerpoint Investing in a Carbon Conscious World” 


Their email is:

Read more about Mr Manuel and Mr Todani here:

However, the World Bank’s recent funding of a massive pig operation in Vietnam through its private sector arm, the IFC (International Finance Corporation), is bewildering. 


Remembering the 'Arch'

As the world mourns – and celebrates – the life of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Compassion in World Farming (South Africa) reflects on how, at the age of 80, he became the first world leader to include farmed animals in a new vision for the future.

In signing Compassion in World Farming’s Vision for Fair Food and Farming at his Cape Town office on 15th March 2012, he said:

“I support this Vision for Fair Food and Farming, being so aware as I am of the cruelty that we mete out to animals… I hope we will learn that we are related to the animals and to Nature and if we destroy the balance, we are ultimately going to suffer and pay the price.”

(See online issues, page 2, Animal Voice June 2012)

Two years later, he again called for the world to fight injustice to animals in the same way as it fights injustice to blacks, women and gays.”


He said: I have spent my life fighting discrimination and injustice, whether the victims are blacks, women, or gays and lesbians… But there are other issues of justice – not only for human beings but also for the world’s other sentient creatures.  The matter of the abuse and cruelty we inflict on other animals has to fight for our attention in what sometimes seems an already overfull moral agenda. It is vital, however, that these instances of injustice not be overlooked.

“I have seen first-hand how injustice gets overlooked when the victims are powerless or vulnerable, when they have no one to speak up for them and no means of representing themselves to a higher authority. Animals are in precisely that position. Unless we are mindful of their interests and speak out loudly on their behalf, abuse and cruelty goes unchallenged.”

This statement by Archbishop Tutu forms the foreword of The Global Guide to Animal Protection, a 323-page resource editor by

Rev Prof Andrew Linzey, Director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, and published by the University of Illinois. Press.


(see online issues, page 4 Animal Voice March 2014)

Let us hear our  Arch’s impassioned appeal and bring into being his all-embracing concept of Universal Justice.

Louise van der Merwe

South African representative: Compassion in World Farming;  Managing Trustee: The Humane Education Trust

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South Africa’s ranking
on the global index

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South Africa’s global ranking of only an ‘E’ in terms of its animal protection legislation and policy, has come under parliamentary scrutiny as the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, prepares to launch the new Animal Welfare Bill early next year.


The index on animal welfare is produced by World Animal Protection and comprises a ranking of 50 countries according to their legislative and policy commitments to the protection of animals. Each country is designated an overall score with an A representing best results and a G identifying most room for improvement.


In Africa, Kenya and Tanzania take the lead in animal welfare scoring a D. South Africa follows at E.

For more information:

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The Humane Education Trust

is proud to have
Philip Lymbery

as our patron.

Read some of his latest inspiring articles

Dear Readers,

If you find interest and value in this 86th issue of Animal Voice, please make a donation towards the upkeep of our online platforms for both
Animal Voice and Caring Classrooms.  

Caring Classrooms is one of the first platforms in the world to offer freely downloadable lesson plans in support of the United Nations’ One Health One Welfare concept.

Your donation will ensure that we can continue to equip young minds with knowledge that empowers them to play active roles in healing and restoring Earth. The Donation Button gratefully accepts international payments too. 

Thank you for any support you are able to give. There can be no greater gift to the young people of South Africa than to empower them to live towards a humane and sustainable future.  

Kind regards,

Louise van der Merwe
Managing Trustee: The Humane Education Trust


This site offers research opportunities in regard to the evolution of our relationship with
animals over three decades as reflected in the South African publication Animal Voice.


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