US marines ditch crude animal killing ‘Gold Cobra’ drills following activist pressure – Totally Vegan Buzz

US marines ditch crude animal killing ‘Gold Cobra’ drills following activist pressure

US marines ditch crude animal killing 'Gold Cobra' drills following activist pressure
Image: PETA

The gruesome military exercise marketed as ‘a food procurement drill’  involved killing chickens with bare hands, eating live scorpions, gutting live geckos, and beheading snakes and drinking their blood.

This year, the United States Marine Corps stopped a four-decade-old barbaric practice used in survival training drills following years of pressure from animal rights advocates.

A representative of the Thai armed forces reported to PETA that no animals were used or killed in this year’s Cobra Gold military exercises.

The Cobra Gold exercise is a tradition in which troops previously killed chickens with their bare hands, ate live scorpions, gutted live geckos, and beheaded snakes and drank their blood as part of the multinational military training camp held in Thailand.

Although the organizers have claimed the drill of drinking cobra blood is a food procurement drill, officials have admitted ‘it’s intended to build camaraderie among troops in a manner resembling a barbaric hazing ritual’.

PETA, which led a vigorous campaign against the exercise argued that the acts violated US cruelty-to-animals laws and, possibly, the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

It added that ‘shipping military personnel to Thailand to drink the blood of beheaded snakes also ‘posed a risk of spreading zoonotic diseases – endangering troops and the wider public’.

Furthermore, camaraderie goals could ‘easily and safely be achieved through other means that don’t involve causing animals to suffer and die’.

The vegan charity also sent formal complaints to top Department of Defense officials and organized protests outside the Pentagon, the Royal Thai Embassy, and the home of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, to pressurize Cobra Gold organisers to stop the gruesome training.

‘Relegated to the history books’

Shalin Gala is PETA’s vice president. She said: “PETA exposed the fact that forcing service members to eat animals alive and suck down cobra blood is dangerous, cruel, and likely illegal.

“Such frat boy–style barbarity needs to be relegated to the history books, and this year demonstrates that no animals should ever again be used at Cobra Gold events.”

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