Big Ag would benefit from neutered provincial SPCAs

Two disturbing pieces of proposed legislation, one in Ontario, the other in B.C., appear to be aimed at reducing the powers of SPCA constables to protect animals. In B.C., Bill 24 would see responsibility for hearing the appeals of individuals whose animals have been seized because of distress, move from the B.C. Supreme Court to the BC Farm Industry Review Board (BC FIRB).  This would

Read More »


Horses die for our entertainment

News that the HBO series ‘Luck’ has been cancelled after three horses died during production, has put the spotlight on the horse racing industry just as a number of horses have been killed in high profile races. The deaths of five horses in two days at the U.K.’s famous Cheltenham Festival has outraged animal welfare advocates, including the RSPCA.  Meanwhile, it has been reported

Read More »


Red meat is bad, but don’t switch to chicken or fish

Eating red meat increases the risk of premature death says a major new report by the Harvard School of Public Health. This latest study showing that red meat consumption is a health hazard will likely be welcomed by opponents of factory farming. After all, anything that potentially reduces the demand for meat should be good news for animal welfare, the environment and human health.

Read More »


Vancouver’s Oakwood Bistro latest to go cage-free

The Oakwood Canadian Bistro is the latest Vancouver restaurant to eliminate eggs from caged hens from their menu, and use certified organic free-range eggs instead. The Oakwood already serves Oceanwise seafood and meat that is local, organic and free of antibiotics and hormones. Regarding their switch to cage-free eggs, owner Mike Shea said “We want to be consistent in what we are providing our

Read More »


Gosha needed help and we were there

  by Debra Probert, VHS Executive Director Gosha, a handsome ginger with white markings, was rescued as a tiny kitten in Jerusalem, where homeless cats number in the tens of thousands. Gosha’s guardian had moved there from Canada and was appalled at the sheer numbers and the terrible condition of Israel’s ‘street cats’. It was shocking to learn how the cats must forage for

Read More »


One option for keeping cats safe at night

Nicholas Read, a long-time VHS supporter, had a problem.  Actually, two problems: Leo and Henry, his two very demanding (but adorable) ginger cats. Both were accustomed to the outdoor life before Nick adopted them (Henry was semi-feral) and they have remained fiercely protective of their right to roam.  But, as Nick lives on Vancouver’s west side he was worried about the dangers from urban

Read More »


Bill the caring cat

Bill is a great help to others but this time he needed help All cats are special in their own ways, but there’s one feline VHS came across who’s putting his exceptional qualities to good use. His name is Bill and he belongs to the Chrysalis Society, a Vancouver non-profit helping women recover from substance abuse.  Chrysalis contacted VHS because Bill had a painful fractured

Read More »


A Cruelty-Free Thanksgiving

By Debra Probert, VHS Executive Director I love holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, because they give me a chance to serve vegetarian/vegan dishes to my meat-eating friends and family.  These holidays shouldn’t leave anyone feeling deprived – rather, they should give our omnivorous friends food for thought (quite literally!) about how easy it is to skip the dead turkey for something more tasty, healthy

Read More »


Sled dogs always at risk

Following the revelations in February about the horrific slaughter of 56 sled dogs in Whistler B.C., various defenders of the sled dog industry insisted that it was an “isolated incident’ and that the industry’s reputation should not be tarnished by the actions of one “bad apple.” While the Whistler massacre may be an extreme example, there are certainly other instances in which dogs have

Read More »


Smart pigs amaze us but we eat them anyway

It’s common to hear North American animal lovers express their horror at cultures that find eating dogs or cats acceptable.  And, indeed, it is repulsive to see these sensitive, intelligent animals abused and raised for slaughter. But two recent stories in the news highlight a double standard in attitudes about animals killed for food – at least for those who eat meat. Media in the United Kingdom and

Read More »