And the Most ‘Gentile’ Animals Are … Alpacas!
Last month, I asked heebnvegan readers to vote for the most “gentile” animal—a silly idea based on typos for the term “gentle animals.” Thank you to everyone who participated! Alpacas got 64% of the vote, whereas none of the other five choices got more than one vote. The alpacas’ victory was decisive!
Alpaca issues had never come up on this J-blog before, and in all likelihood, they never will again. I’d like to devote this post to alpacas, who face a wide range of abuses reminiscent of what other animals go through:
- According to PETA, “The alpaca-wool industry exploded in the 1980s, when South American alpacas and llamas were marketed worldwide to entrepreneurs. The demand for alpaca wool has increased, so much so that herds numbering in the tens of thousands are now raised in the United States and Australia. Most of the world’s alpacas live in Peru, but government officials there believe that Australia could take over the industry within two decades.” Learn more about the cruelty behind wool at SaveTheSheep.com.
- The Animal Protection Institute notes that in 2002, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) cited the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus because “the outdoor enclosure for the alpacas and goats had accumulations of debris (pieces of plastic, metal, cans, paper, etc.), and a piece of wood on the ground with several sharp nails sticking up.” Learn more about inhumane conditions for animals in circuses at Circuses.com.
- Last year, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) offered a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) who decapitated a 5-day-old alpaca. A news release said, “Tana Ward noticed one of her alpacas was missing from her home, at Willow Tan Farm, north of Delavan. She later found the alpaca—a baby named Arianne—dead, decapitated and lying in the pasture. Police determined the head was severed cleanly and are considering the case animal cruelty.” In 2003, HSUS offered a $2,500 reward following an apparent act of arson that killed five alpacas (and two cats). Learn more about the connection between cruelty to animals and violence toward humans.
- In 2006, HSUS intervened to help 215 hoarded animals, including alpacas, in Broome County, New York. Click here to learn more about animal hoarders.
- According to HSUS, alpacas or llamas (the factsheets don’t distinguish) have been used for experimentation by Bushover’s Biologicals Inc., Midwest Animals Blood Services Inc., the USDA-ARS-Animal Disease Research Unit, College of Southern Idaho, Pierce College, San Diego Mesa College, Auburn University, Brigham Young, Oregon State University, Tufts, Colorado Mountain College, Cornell, Ohio State University, Texas A&M, University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Washington State University, and Purdue. Fortunately, an “alpaca venipuncture/catheterization model” is available to students and experimenters looking to simulate various tests on alpacas. Learn more about vivisection at StopAnimalTests.com.