Mars used one of the spot paintings because it represents album cover the best, it's optimistic and full of energy and that's the point. Everything else that Hirst does has absolutely nothing to do with Mars, so stop spreading the negativity, we've had enough of that in the past year, I think. (I'm not saying don't question Hirst's choices, just don't blame Mars guys for it.)

When did I blame Mars for Hirst’s choices? It’s not like Mars made Hirst kill animals. It’s not like Hirst made Mars choose his work. They did it freely and knowing Hirst’s background as an “artist”. There is the problem of it all. You want something colourful and optimistic? There are THOUSANDS of paintings representing that without the baggage of this “artist”.

30seconds to Mars pictures an ALIVE baby zebra and didn't take the picture of the actual Hirst work about the dead one. That's a huge difference : they choose the ilfe. If you shock by Hirst death theme, he simply won what he wanted you to feel. He worked in a morgue. Probably doesn't have the same vision of the death & interrogations. I don't defend him, just say critic is easy, understanding asks an effort. About cruelty : check your life mode : clothes, food... what does it tell you? XO

Asked by et-mon-oeil

Perhaps it is my fault for thinking that people would have the same respect to all living beings (animals and plants) same as I do, but it looks like there are a lot of depraved people around.

There are many things I don’t understand about the use of Damien’s work as the album cover. For example, Jared created ABLorg, a web to create awareness for the damage we have caused to the planet and animals, yet now he chooses an artist that kills animals to make “art”. So apparently he does support the killing of animals for art’s purposes. I can’t understand how Jared has repeatedly claimed over the years to be a vegan and now he chooses Damien. Contradiction? Yes, like almost everything Jared does lately.

The fact that Hirst worked in a morgue is irrelevant. Not everyone working in a morgue kills animals. Working in a morgue doesn’t make you an animal killer, a perturbed mind makes you kill animals for “art”. And unfortunately, this is supported by the absence of laws punishing horrible acts like this one. If instead of killing 9000 butterflies, he had killed 9000 humans he’d be considered a serial killer and put in jail serving time. But that’s the lack of respect this society has for the lives of any living being.

Well, of course Speedy is alive! What did you expect them using the corpse of Damien’s zebra also? But I’m sure even if they did, people would still find excuses to justify their actions.

Finally, you have NO idea of my choices in life (food, clothes, …) so don’t start making assumptions about my life because you don’t know me. I know what I do, what I believe in, and I sleep with a clear conscience. I don’t kill animals for fun or to make “art”. And even if people are not vegan/vegetarian, that doesn’t make them feel less empathy towards what that “artist” does to make his “art” and then sell for thousands of pounds the death of defenceless animals.

A non-vegan/vegetarian person can make sure to purchase their food from farms and markets where animals are given a healthy, humane treatment. Some have called them hypocrites for eating meat but being appalled by Damien’s “art”. However, a vegan who wears clothes made from animals skin and feathers is ok to them. Who’s being the hypocrite?

I had no idea about all these stuff about Demian Hirst. I don't even know what to think anymore. I love UITA, I know a lot of people don't and I respect it. But I just don't get what's going on with this "artist".. I really hope someone asks Jared about this. I need to hear his reasons.. Thank you for sharing the info you found.

Asked by floo0oor

I’m pretty sure Jared is aware of our concern and dislike of the “artist” because of all the messages that people have sent over Twitter. He hasn’t addressed the matter yet, maybe he will never do. Sometimes silence says a lot.

Mars didn't say they support THAT project-art or whatever,they displayed the dots project,they never uploaded a picture of the shark or a sheep or a cow or any other animal Hirst has used for "art". Also,we knew Jared has a picture of a skull in his house,Hirst's job,and visited his dots exhibition last year on February. So,can we please not go all over " I NEVER EXPECTED THIS FROM MARS,IT'S AGAINST THEIR PHILOSOPHY AND BLAH BLAH BLAH" they didn't say they agree with that kind of "art"...

Asked by Anonymous

That’s true they never publically said they supported the slaughtering-animals art, but by using any of his art in a product that people can purchase implies that money is being given to Damien, therefore supporting the artist that kills animals.

You don’t support the art, but you support the artist? You don’t support the killing but you do support the killer. Makes a lot of sense…not.

I can't believe what's going on with this Mars thing.. I mean, they are vegan and stuff but support this kind of 'art' and animal abuse?.. I just can't.. I think its not okay and I just don't know.. It's sad that they're more comercial now or at least Up In The Air is, I love the song its great its diferent but it is so comercial.. I LOVE Mars with all my life but this makes me really sad

Asked by Anonymous

I can only say that I am disappointed to see the decisions for their last album. Moreover, they have used wild animals for entertainment purposes. And I’m disappointing that there has also been no response to everyone who is questioning it. Using animals for entertainment purposes goes against vegan philosophy.

I love them too but I can’t support such things.

I confess I love his art, a lot of his pieces, but really din't know these things about him and really leave me shocked enough! Thanks for opened my eyes.

The problem about all of this is that Damien don’t use dead animals for his “art”. He kills them for the art.

Solar Power of the People, by the People and for the People

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Tired of playing the stock market? Wish you were in a position to invest in things that really matter, instead of just another bloated corporation? That alternative may finally be here.

Mosaic first made waves a few years ago with a platform to help communities crowdfund their own renewable energy projects. The idea, which we reported on here, was a solid one. The only problem was a limited number of projects and the fact that contributors didn’t see any return on their investment, besides a sense of community and personal satisfaction. It was kind of like when you donate to a Kickstarter campaign and just get a thank you note in return.

Just last week, the company made headlines again. This time, Mosaic announced that they were taking their crowdfunding investment scheme public. Anyone living in New York or California, or “accredited investors” living in other states, is invited to contribute what money they can, just like a typical crowdfunding campaign. The difference is, every cent contributed will be used to construct large scale solar projects across the nation, and the revenues are used to pay investors a handsome rate of interest.

“We see a massive transition coming from fossil fuels to clean energy, and we think people should be able to profit from that transition,” said Billy Parish, Mosaic’s President. “Mosaic is creating the architecture for mass participation in the clean energy economy.”

It’s hard to disagree with him. Why should venture capitalists and energy companies be the only ones to benefit from the efficiencies of solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy? Also, why should we wait for them to decide it’s time to invest? Solar Mosaic’s public investment program puts the power to move forward on commercial scale solar into the hands of ordinary people like you and me.

The new online platform for investors opened on January 7th. Within 24 hours the first four projects were completely sold out, i.e. funded. Can you imagine getting funding from a bank or private investor that quickly? Over 400 investors took advantage of the opportunity, putting in between $25 and $30,000. In total, investors put in over $313,000 with an average investment of nearly $700. Unfortunately, I’m not a resident of the two qualifying states. If I were, it’d be no problem to scrape together $25 to help build a solar farm. And if I kept reinvesting it, that $25 could grow into much more with out a lot of effort on my part.

Mosaic’s first investment offerings for New York and California residents are in solar projects on affordable housing apartments for low-income residents in California and offer a 4.5 percent annual return, net of servicing fees, with terms of approximately nine years. With 10 year Treasuries at near historic lows, Mosaic’s expected yields are competitive with the best investment products on the market. And there’s no scary investment firm or high priced broker involved. It’s just you, your laptop and a few easy clicks.



3 Victories in Fighting the Illegal Wildlife Trade

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Illegal trade in wildlife is a billion-dollar black market costing the world untold losses as animals, many from endangered and/or threatened species, are hunted and killed. Tigers are hunted for their genitals and rhinoceroses for their horns for use in traditional Asian medicine; rare monkeys, bears, parrots and many other valuable and beautiful creatures are captured, drugged and smuggled around the world. Conservation organizations have sought to work with governments to increase law enforcement and criminal penalties for poaching wildlife but to say progress is slow is an understatement.

Certainly it is depressing, and can leave us with a sense of hopelessness, to hear one account after another about endangered wildlife cruelly killed. But three recent reports show that, while it is certainly an uphill battle, the fight to preserve wildlife is resulting in some small victories.

1) A narwhal tusk smuggling ring is busted in Maine.

Two Americans have been charged with smuggling narwhal tusks from the Canadian Arctic into Maine in what seems to be a “decades-long racket,” says the Smithsonian. Two Canadians have apparently been smuggling the tusks (which are actually an enlarged canine tooth found only in male narwhals) to two Americans, Andrew Zarauskas and Jay Conrad, who have allegedly sent some 150 narwhal tusks off via FedEx. Zarauskas and Conrad are to be arraigned this week.

While it not illegal to hunt narwhals in Canada (which lists them as “near-threatened”), it is against the law to ship their tusks to the U.S. and sell them.

Narwhals dwell “in the cracks of dense pack ice for much of the year,” says the Smithsonian. They are difficult for researchers to track and study as they hurry quickly away from motorboats and helicopters. All the more reason, says Grist, that it is “sort of infuriating that horn-smugglers managed to catch them when legitimate scientists can’t.”

2. Hong Kong makes the third mass seizure of ivory in three months.

At then end of last week, Hong Kong officials seized a $1.4 million cache of ivory. Authorities discovered 779 pieces of ivory weighing a total of 2,916 pounds in a shipping container that had passed through Malaysia after leaving Kenya. It’s a supply chain that has become all too common as the seemingly insatiable demand for ivory in China and Thailand (for sculptures and adornments) has led to the poaching of elephants at record levels including the recent killing of an entire family of eleven elephants in Kenya.

Hong Kong police have not yet arrested anyone after forty sacks of ivory were found inside five wooden crates in a container that was said to be carrying architectural stones.

A single pound of ivory can fetch prices of $1,000. In both October and November of last year, a total of three illegal shipments of ivory totaling in the millions were seized in Hong Kong.

3) Thousands of shark fins found drying on an industrial building roof in Hong Kong.

Gary Stokes, the coordinator for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in Hong Kong and a photographer, was recently able to take photographs of thousands and thousands of shark fins drying on the roof of an industrial building in Hong Kong over the course of three days. You can see more photos via Stokes’s blog, a truly sickening sight when you think about how many sharks were bloodoed and killed for their fins.

Soup made with shark fins is a traditional delicacy in Chinese cuisine and has been much in demand as the country’s middle class has grown. Serving bowls of shark fin soup at weddings and other events is a status symbol, though one that has fallen increasingly out of favor in Hong Kong and certainly among those of Chinese descent in the U.S.

Indeed, China itself announced last year that shark fin soup would no longer be served at state banquets. But this remains a window-dressing move so long as the Chinese and Hong Kong governments shy away from implementing aggressive policies to stop the eating, hunting and selling of shark fins.

It is probably too much to ask. But let’s work in this new year so that conservation effort victories can not only be about seizing animal parts bound for the black market but about saving the animals themselves.

Only 86 of These Orcas Still Exist, But They Don’t Deserve Our Protection

ablorg:

Only 86 of These Orcas Still Exist, But They Dont Deserve Our Protection

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will be reviewing a petition from the California-based Pacific Legal Foundation seeking to remove a group of orca whales from the endangered species list.

The petition, which was filed on behalf of two California farms — the Empresa de Bosque and Coburn Ranch — and the Center for Environmental Science Accuracy, argues that this group of whales does not need to be protected because they’re part of a larger population. The groups contend that because the population is technically a subspecies, it is illegal for them to be listed.

The real problem the petitioners have is that protecting these whales means protecting their habitat and the fish they eat, which has led to cutbacks in irrigation, which they claim has caused problems getting loans and an inability to expand their businesses.

The orcas in question, known as the southern resident killer whales, include three distinct pods who live in Puget Sound, the Strait of Georgia and the Strait of Juan de Fuca during the summer months and migrate to the open ocean in the winter. Their route includes traveling through the San Francisco Bay area where they feed on Chinook salmon.

NOAA initially decided that the southern resident whales in the J, K and L pods were not a distinct population, but their findings were overruled by a U.S. District Court judge in 2003 and further study led to the conclusion that they are a distinct population. They were subsequently listed in 2005, reports the Seattle Times.

As a result of the findings, a recovery plan was developed and they were given 2,560 square miles of Puget Sound as critical habitat. As of now, there are only an estimated 86 living in the wild, down from 89 in 2006.

“Nothing has changed in the science to show that orcas are faring any better or are somehow suddenly undeserving of endangered species protections. Although the agency’s decision to consider the delisting petition is unfortunate, the species’ status is unlikely to change as a result of the agency’s review, and these irreplaceable killer whales will almost certainly keep their protections,”  said Sarah Uhlemann, an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity.

Further study conducted by NOAA in 2009 found that water projects in California threatened endangered species and the salmon that the orcas rely on which led to more water restrictions the groups are complaining about.

“If there was ever a poster child for this type of subspecies, it’s the killer whales,” he said. “It’s not just their genetics, it’s culture. These clearly are the tribes of the sea, and if you extirpate that population not only do you lose the genetic code, you lose a unique brain trust,” Fred Felleman, an advocate for the original listing, told the Seattle Times.

According to NOAA, accepting the petition doesn’t necessarily mean that they will propose delisting. The agency will be reviewing information and has a year to make a decision.

TAKE ACTION!

Please sign the petition asking NOAA to protect Puget Sound’s orcas.

ablorg:

Global tourism is a massive industry. But while it can bring enormous benefits to communities, people and animals, it can do great harm when it comes at the expense of wildlife and the environment.

IFAW promotes responsible tourism, but travellers themselves make the…