Seattle Hempfest 2009

On August 21 and 22 marked the return of Seattle Hempfest, the largest cannabis policy reform event in the world. Now in its 18th year, the “protestival” attracts tens of thousands of people each day to listen to Hempfest’s reform messages amidst a festival atmosphere marked by music on multiple stages and numerous vendors. The picture-perfect day in a park setting overlooking the  blue waters of Elliot Bay and backed by the sun-glistened downtown Seattle skyline meant this year’s Hempfest was one of the busiest in recent memory.

NARN was right in the thick of it, spreading the message of extending compassion and self-determination to non-human animals, with a booth well-staffed by many talented and determined volunteer activists like Franziska, Isa, Ted, Rabbit, Chuck, Meredith, Nick, Dominique, Claudine, Shelly, Pete, Margaret, Michael & Wil. In the course of two days, we were able to distribute a personal record amount of vegan literature, restaurant guides and starter kits (over 2500!) to provide Hempfest attendees with the tools they need to transition to an animal-product-free lifestyle.

Thanks to our volunteers for the hard work they did in making this event a huge success!

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Foie Gras Die-In, August 7

On Friday, August 7, The Northwest Animal Rights Network held a special edition of its continual campaign against the extreme cruelty of foie gras by flexing their ability with street theater. Chef Scott Staples was a particular target due to his stubborn stance in supporting animal cruelty despite our efforts on educating him on the egregious conditions that ducks are forced to undergo for a particular delicacy sought out by “foodies.” This Friday involved us staging our action at a sympathetic business, Healeo, a new place on Madison Ave that features conscientious food such as their popular vegan soft-serve ice cream. They were supportive of our prepping of signs, costumes, and more, in the midst of their space, and for that, we give them props.

After the preparations, we were ready to head out, with the flock of ducks that suffered under the cruelty that was imposed by a Scott Staples look-alike, brandishing a knife and an attitude that animals were his to use as he saw fit.

Just to show who’s boss, Chef Scott Staples look-alike menaced the tortured ducks:

After arriving to Quinn’s, the area where they offer the diseased engorged liver of ducks,  we staged a die-in, showing the public the the callous attitude towards animals that Quinn’s exhibits with a graphic reminder that the animals were once sentient beings that underwent horrible treatment before they ended up on the plates that garnered gourmet prices.

Thankfully, there are conscientious souls who recognize the cruelty that ducks go through to undergo the rarefied dish called “foie gras” and held a vigil for the souls that were sacrificed for it:

Granted, the scene was not pretty on the outside, but neither is the scene hidden from public view, the scene where ducks were made to undergo horrible cruelty in the name of gourmand tastebuds. One has to wonder whether the horror that the animals go through is really worth the momentary pleasure the flesh provides when it passes by the lips in mere seconds. People passing by were shocked at the scene, and shocked even more upon learning that area restaurants such as Quinn’s were supporting the kind of cruelty that people had thought had been extinguished in today’s modern age.

We encourage everyone to contact Quinn’s and let them know that their offering of foie gras is cruel and unnecessary, and it reflects badly on them their continued support of such an archaic product.

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“Isn’t man an amazing animal?”

“Isn’t man an amazing animal? He kills wildlife by the millions in order to protect his domestic animals and their feed. Then he kills domestic animals by the billions and eats them. This in turn kills man by the millions, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative – and fatal – health conditions like heart disease, kidney disease, and cancer. So then man tortures and kills millions more animals to look for cures for these diseases. Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals. Meanwhile, some people are dying of sad laughter at the absurdity of man, who kills so easily and so violently, and once a year sends out a card praying for ‘Peace on Earth.’” – C. David Coats

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