The actress who played Luna Lovegood in the 'Harry Potter' movies wants a better life for animals.

As Luna Lovegood in the "Harry Potter" films, Evanna Lynch was quirky, kindhearted, and ever-optimistic.

Sometimes she was picked on for her oddities. But she never became angry.

Now the actress is showing a tougher side.


Photo by Jane Dalton.

She's putting a spotlight on Europe's brutal live animal trade and hoping to persuade European Union chiefs to end it.

An astonishing 3 million animals — mostly cattle but also sheep and pigs — are transported every year from Europe to Turkey, the Middle East, North Africa, Russia, and Ukraine.

On journeys of thousands of miles in trucks and ships, these large but sensitive creatures are deprived of rest, water, food, and bedding, and they are often hit, kicked, or prodded, according to investigators for Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), a U.K.-based animal-welfare group. They are so thirsty that they lick the bars of the filthy, overcrowded trucks in desperation. Investigators have witnessed many of them too young or sick to travel.

Then, after up to two weeks of suffering, they are slaughtered (without first being rendered unconscious) — sometimes even with blunt knives that worsen and prolong their deaths.

Evanna wanted to take action to help stop the animal trade, so she launched a campaign.

CIWF wants the trade in live animals to be replaced by one in meat.

The live animal trade is legal in Europe, but Evanna's hoping to persuade European Union chiefs to outlaw it.

To get people's attention, Evanna and CIWF began circulating a nontraditional petition this fall — one that came as a life-size cow statue.

Photo by Jane Dalton.

She was the first to sign the cow petition, and then it began a tour of seven countries to send a message to European Commission bosses.

Evanna was joined by “Order of the Phoenix" co-star Robbie Jarvis to launch the event in London on Oct. 9.

Photo by Jim Philpott Photography for CIWF, used with permission.

The news spread on Twitter and Facebook as #cowontour.

The 24-year-old Irish actress believes that animals should be treated as humanely as possible.

She's vegan and doesn't eat meat or animal products. Here's what she told me:

"The suffering is completely unnecessary and is easily remedied with a little bit of compassion.

So many people aren't aware this trade goes on — for instance, I'm vegan, but my family eat meat, and when I tell them what goes on, they say, 'It doesn't happen here.' Because people don't realize this horrible practice happens.

It's grotesque but it's the truth. I don't think it would continue if people were aware."



Protest at the European Commission. Photo by Jim Philpott Photography for CIWF, used with permission.

You can see the painful side of the live animal trade in this video (Warning: the content is graphic and includes animal suffering):

The European Commission says it's concerned about animal welfare, and it has held workshops to train slaughterhouse workers in correct practices.

We may think of them as just farm animals. But anyone who has been near a cow, sheep, or pig will know they feel the same things as we do — hunger, thirst, pain, fear, and love.

Yet in this ugly trade, they are treated like mere sacks of potatoes. In this one sculpture lies all the hope of change for a more humane, more grown-up approach to the millions of living, breathing, feeling animals we breed. Their fate, and whether they remain free from suffering, rests on it.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

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The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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