Ten adorable puppies and their mothers have been flown to a safe new life in the USA, thanks to a rescue team from animal charity Humane Society International who saved them from certain death on a South Korean dog meat farm.
The puppies are part of a rescue mission that began in late September that saw HSI close down the dog meat farm and rescue all 103 dogs from death row – the newborn puppies were too young to fly with the others, so they stayed behind with their mums in foster care in Seoul until late last week when HSI returned to bring them home.
HSI’s Adam Parascandola and Lola Webber were on site for the former dog meat farm to be completely demolished, and to prepare the puppies and their mums for their flight to a new life in the USA where they will be adopted into loving forever homes.
HSI’s Lola Webber said: “Visiting these dog meat farms never gets any easier, and so it fills my heart with joy to know that these puppies have been spared a life misery, and instead will live lives of love and freedom and compassion, so different to the life of suffering and death that awaited them before we closed down the farm. It is so satisfying to know that they- unlike the countless litters of pippies before them- will not spend their days in barren cages, hungry and scared.
“They will fly off to live the happy lives we wish for all the dogs caught up in the cruel dog meat industry, as cherished family members. But even as we see these puppies and their mums leave, we’ll be thinking about the countless others still suffering on farms. We have a long road ahead of us but we are determined to end this cruelty.”
Closing South Korea’s Dog Meat Farms
Humane Society International signed an agreement with Farmer Kim who owns the farm, to close down his dog farm in Chungcheongnam-do for good and switch to a humane, non-animal trade instead. This is the third such dog farm closure by HSI as part of its campaign to end Asia’s cruel dog meat trade. More than 2 million dogs are bred and killed each year for their meat in South Korea. In China and elsewhere most dogs are stolen from the streets, but in South Korea they are bred on small and largescale farms. Through working hand in hand with dog meat farmers to close their businesses, HSI hopes to demonstrate to the South Korean government that a nationwide phase-out and ultimate ban on the production and sale of dog meat is an economically-viable and desirable strategy. With the Winter Olympics coming to South Korea in 2018, there is a key window of opportunity to rid the nation of this inherently cruel industry before the world’s media spotlight falls.
Life of Suffering, Brutal death
The dog meat trade is inherently cruel. In all the farms that HSI has encountered over the years, we have seen a mixture of dog breeds from large mastiffs to tiny Chihuahuas, all spending their entire lives in small, filthy cages waiting to be killed for human consumption. The dogs are commonly killed by electrocution, often in front of each other.
HSI returned to the former dog meat farm in Chungcheongnam-do to raise the farm to the ground. All of the dog cages were dismantled, never again to imprison an animal. And the rest of the farm facilities were destroyed, as HSI and the farmer looked on at a job well done. Farmer Kim is glad to draw a line under his involvement in this business that he confessed brought much family and community shame.
HSI’s Adam Parascandola said: “Pretty much all the dog meat farmers we’ve spoken to and worked with have been keen to get out of the dog meat trade. It’s a highly sensitive issue in South Korea, laden with societal shame despite the fact that a regrettably high proportion of citizens still eat dog meat in the mistaken belief that it has health properties. But in the same way that we campaign to educate people in China and Vietnam that rhino horn has no medicinal benefit, so too must the myth about dog meat be dispelled.
There are thousands of dog farms in Korea, so we know full well that HSI doesn’t have the capabilities to close down every one ourselves, that’s not the goal. The goal is to show the government that closing them down and transitioning these farmers to other trades, is entirely possible. We want to encourage the government to present farmers with the solution they themselves are keen to see take place.”
HSI’s Campaign to Change Hearts & Minds
Many South Koreans mistakenly believe that dogs bred for meat are somehow different from other dogs. But, we have seen time and time again that, despite their ordeal, these dogs are for the most part friendly and desperate for human affection, their tails wildly wagging as HSI comes to open their cages and cut their chains.
HSI will be launching public awareness campaigns to encourage South Koreans to think differently about “meat dogs”, who are no different to the pet dogs that a growing number of Koreans are welcoming into their homes as companions. While dog adoption is not yet widely established in South Korea, HSI hopes to see that change in the future by building a community of citizens who adopt former farm dogs into their homes and help fellow South Koreans take them into their hearts.
Build, Buy, Or Retrofit? 3 Green Housing Considerations
Green housing is in high demand, but it’s not yet widely available, posing a serious problem: if you want to live an eco-friendly lifestyle, do you invest in building something new and optimize it for sustainability, or do you retrofit a preexisting building?
The big problem when it comes to choosing between these two options is that building a new home creates more waste than retrofitting specific features of an existing home, but it may be more efficient in the long-run. For those concerned with waste and their environmental footprint, the short term and long term impacts of housing are in close competition with each other.
New Construction Options
One reason that new construction is so desired among green living enthusiasts is that it can be built to reflect our highest priorities. Worried about the environmental costs of heating your home? New construction can be built using passive solar design, a strategy that uses natural light and shade to heat or cool the home. Builders can add optimal insulation, build with all sustainable materials, and build exactly to the scale you need.
In fact, scale is a serious concern for new home buyers and builders alike. Individuals interested in green housing will actively avoid building more home than they need – scaling to the square foot matter because that’s more space you need to heat or cool – and this is harder to do when buying. You’re stuck with someone else’s design. In this vein, Missouri S&T’s Nest Home design, which uses recycled shipping containers, combines the tiny home trend with reuse and sustainability.
The Simple Retrofit
From an environmental perspective, there’s an obvious problem with building a new home: it’s an activity of mass consumption. There are already 120 million single-family homes and duplexes in the United States; do we really need more?
Extensive development alone is a good enough reason to intelligently retrofit an existing home rather than building new green structures, but the key is to do so with as little waste as possible. One option for retrofitting older homes is to install new smart home technology that can automate home regulation to reduce energy use.
Real estate agent Roxanne DeBerry sees clients struggle with issues of efficiency on a regular basis. That’s why she recommends tools like the Nest Thermostat, which develops a responsive heating and cooling schedule for the home and can be remotely adjusted via smartphone. Other smart tools for home efficiency include choosing Energy Star appliances and installing water-saving faucets and low-pressure toilets. These small changes add up.
Ultimately, the most effective approach to green housing is likely to be aggressive retrofitting of everything from period homes to more recent construction. This will reduce material use where possible and prevent further aggressive land use. And finally, designers, activists, and engineers are coming together to develop such structures.
In the UK, for example, designers are interested in finding ways to adapt period houses for greater sustainability without compromising their aesthetics. Many have added solar panels, increased their insulation levels, and recently they even developed imitation sash triple glazed windows. As some have pointed out, the high cost of heating these homes without such changes will push these homes out of relevance without these changes. This is a way of saving existing structures.
Harvard is also working on retrofitting homes for sustainability. Their HouseZero project is designed for near-zero energy use and zero carbon emissions using geothermal heating and temperature radiant surfaces. The buildings bridge the gap between starting over and putting up with unmanageable heating and cooling bills.
It will take a long time to transition the majority of individuals to energy efficient, green housing but we’re headed in the right direction. What will your next home be like? As long as the answer is sustainable, you’re part of the solution to our chronic overuse – of land, energy, water, and more.
How the Auto Industry is Lowering Emissions
Currently, the automotive industry is undergoing an enormous change in a bid to lower carbon emissions. This has been pushed by the Government and their clean air plans, where they have outlined a plan to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040.
Public Health Crisis
It is said that the levels of air pollution lead to 40,000 early deaths in the UK, with London being somewhere that is particularly bad. This has led to the new T-Charge, where heavy polluting cars will pay a new charge on top of the existing congestion charge. Other cities have taken action too, with Oxford recently announcing that they will be banning petrol and diesel cars from the city centre by 2020.
It is clear that the Government is taking action, but what about the auto industry? With the sale of petrol and diesel plummeting and a sharp rise in alternatively fuelled vehicles, it is clear that the industry is taking note and switching focus to green cars. There are now all kinds of fantastic eco-friendly cars available and a type to suit every motorist whether it is a small city car or an SUV.
Of course, it is the cars that are currently on the road that are causing the problem. The used car market is enormous and filled with polluting automobiles, but there are steps that you can take to avoid dangerous automobiles. It is now more important than ever to get vehicle checks carried out through HPI, as these can reveal important information about the automobile’s past and they find that 1 in 3 cars has a hidden secret of some kind. Additionally, they can now perform recall checks to see if the manufacturer has recalled that particular automobile. This allows people to shop confidently and find vehicles that are not doing as much damage to the environment as others.
With the rise in sales of alternatively fuelled vehicles, it is now becoming increasingly more common to see them on UK roads. Public perception has changed drastically in the last few years and this is because of the air pollution crisis, as well as the fact that there are now so many different reasons to switch to electric cars, such as Government grants and no road tax. A similar change in public opinion has happened in the United States, with electric car sales up by 47% in 2017.
The US is leading the way for lowering emissions as they have declined by 758 million metric tons since 2005, which is the largest amount by far with the UK in second with a decline of 170 million metric tons. Whilst it is clear that these two nations are doing a good job, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done in order to improve the air quality and stop so many premature deaths as a result of pollution.
With the Government’s plans, incentives to make the change and a change in public perception, it seems that the electric car revolution is fully underway.