Let Live 2010: Community, compassion, and creativity

This year was my first time in attending the Let Live Conference, a yearly grassroots animal rights activist conference and forum from Portland’s Let Live Foundation. Over the course of the weekend, a wide array of workshops were held on many topics moderated by activists of note from all over the country. After meeting with many people that I admired and have known only through the world of social networks and blogs, had many engaging conversations, and heard many inspiring presentations, I returned home with my head bursting with ideas that I can’t wait to act upon.

Community was front and center, with the idea of building coalitions with many other movements. The way the workshops were arranged allowed plenty of room for interaction, participation, and sharing of views and opinions, and placed the role of the audience in the same level as the speaker(s). It focused on the grassroots; people who in their spare time do what they can to help others and create change. The conference also created space for social interaction, networking, and conversation to bring everyone together and to remind everyone of the common goal. The scale of the conference was impressive, as behind the scenes volunteers tirelessly manned tables, video-taped presentations, served food, and kept the conference humming along as the spotlight speakers helped others to help animals.

There were so many workshops I wished I could have attended, but since I am (still) rooted to the physical principle of not being able to occupy two places at once, I had to make some tough choices. As a relative newcomer to animal activism (3 years as a member of the Board of Directors for NARN), I chose the ones that I felt would be most useful for me personally to become a better activist. I took a lot of notes, and as I review them, many ideas are already formulating that I can apply in the coming months towards new campaigns, tactics, and creative approaches. Look for some action soon!

Very soon we will have a “What I Learned at Let Live” forum to bring those of you who weren’t able to attend together with those of us who did to spread the wealth of information and ideas, so stay tuned!

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Action Alerts

Help Save Wolves in Washington State
Ask Governor Chris Gregoire to bring wolves back to Washington State. As wolves are beginning to return to Washington, state officials are considering how to best manage them.

contact:

Governor Chris Gregoire
Office of the Governor
PO Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504-0002
phone (360) 902-4111
fax (360) 753-4110

See For information and talking point see here
and
www.all-creatures.org/alert/alert-20100611.html

Prosecute Cal-Cruz Hatcheries for Animal Cruelty
Tell Santa Cruz California’s District Attorney Bob Lee to prosecute Cal-Cruz for cruelty to ducklings at the Cal-Cruz Hatchery.

CONTACT

Bob Lee
Santa Cruz County District Attorney
701 Ocean Street, Rm. 200
Santa Cruz CA 95060
phone (831) 454-2400
email  dao@co.santa-cruz.ca.us

for more information see

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News of Note

BP Faces More Complaints Over Wildlife Injuries
Do wildlife victims of the Gulf oil spill have legal recourse?  Not really, was the short answer.  But that has not stopped some folks from trying.  Attorneys general in 10 Atlantic Coast states, including New York, Maryland, and North Carolina, have sent letters to BP complaining about the potential effects of the oil spill on birds and marine life along their coasts.

Animal rights activists target BP
Animal rights advocates are pushing prosecutors to go after oil giant BP with a new weapon: animal cruelty charges.
Animal rights and human wrongs
In the U.S. alone, we are responsible for the torture and slaughter of more than 25 million animals EVERY SINGLE DAY. While many may be astounded by the numbers and not believe them, others will simply say, “So what?” “Why should we care?” “They are only animals?” The reasons to care are many, and I will try to address a few.
As demand grows for locally raised meat, farmers turn to mobile slaughterhouses
Along with mid-size and small farms, the number of federally inspected slaughterhouses has been dropping, from 1,627 in 1980 to 1,051 in 2010, according to the USDA. Today, four corporations slaughter 80 percent of the cattle in the United States. In Wyoming, for example, where cattle ranching is so iconic that license plates carry an image of a cowboy, there is no longer a single slaughterhouse inspected by either the federal or state government.
3rd Circuit Turns Down Animal Activists’ Appeal
The full 3rd Circuit won’t reconsider a panel decision upholding the convictions of six animal-rights activists who used their website to incite threats and vandalism against researchers in a New Jersey lab.

Chimps, Too, Wage War and Annex Rival Territory
Chimpanzee warfare is of particular interest because of the possibility that both humans and chimps inherited an instinct for aggressive territoriality from their joint ancestor who lived some five million years ago. Only two previous cases of chimp warfare have been recorded, neither as clear-cut as the Ngogo case.

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News of Note

Animal rights activists accused in UC Santa Cruz researcher attack move to dismiss case
Four animal rights activists accused of taking part in a violent demonstration at the home of a UC Santa Cruz researcher are fighting to have the federal indictment filed against them dropped…attorneys, in court papers filed in April, argue that the descriptions of what the activists are accused of are so vague, it’s impossible for them to determine what allegations they’re supposed to defend themselves against.

Former DeCoster Egg Farm Agrees to Settle Animal Cruelty Case
Assistant District Attorney Andrew Robinson cited Maine Contract Farming with ten civil counts of animal cruelty for depriving hens of necessary sustenance and proper shelter. The farm agreed to pay $2,500 dollars in fines for each count; to reimburse the Animal Welfare Board more than $9,000 for the cost of its investigation; and to make a one-time payment of $100,000 to the Maine Department of Agriculture for ongoing monitoring of hen treatment at its facilities as well as those of other egg farms around the state.

Manure smells like trouble at 2 Oregon CAFO dairies owned by New Seasons’ founder
If Oregon has a pioneer of the local food movement, it is Chuck Eggert. Co-founder of Portland’s enviro-chic New Seasons grocery chain…Eggert’s Mayfield and Rock Ridge dairies have repeatedly mismanaged the manure that 700 milking cows produce, racking up 20 manure-related violations and $35,000 in state fines. A $20,000 fine this month was the largest ever by the state’s Confined Animal Feeding Operation program.

USDA Grant To Put Fruit, Veggies In Wyo. Schools
A U.S. Department of Agriculture program will make it easier for Wyoming youngsters to heed their mothers’ advice by eating veggies during the school day.  State Superintendent Jim McBride announced Wednesday that 90 Wyoming elementary schools have been chosen to receive USDA fresh fruit and vegetable grants for next school year.

The Freegan Establishment
Freeganism is a bubbling stew of various ideologies, drawing on elements of communism, radical environmentalism, a zealous do-it-yourself work ethic and an old-fashioned frugality of the sock-darning sort. Freegans are not revolutionaries. Rather, they aim to challenge the status quo by their lifestyle choices. Above all, freegans are dedicated to salvaging what others waste and — when possible — living without the use of currency.

Deputies Hope Cockfighting Bust Sends Message
Officials said several concerned citizens tipped them off to the fighting.  At the home, they found what the Humane Society of the United States calls one of the biggest cockfighting rings in South Carolina…deputies hope that this bust will send a strong message to people in Greenville County  that cockfighting will not be tolerated.

Those scientists – working hard to make farming more profitable and easing the minds of people concerned about animals…:

Effects of Feeding Elevated Concentrations of Copper and Zinc on the Antimicrobial Susceptibilities of Fecal Bacteria in Feedlot Cattle
Cattle are fed elevated concentrations of copper and zinc for growth promotion. The potential mechanisms of growth promotional effects of these elements are attributed to their antimicrobial activities, similar to that of antibiotics, in that gut microbial flora are altered to reduce fermentation loss of nutrients and to suppress gut pathogens. Copper and zinc fed at elevated concentrations may select for bacteria that are resistant not only to heavy metals but also to antibiotics.

Easing the pain of bovine mastitis
“It is easy to underestimate how much pain cows may experience in even mild cases of mastitis and that’s why many cases are not seen as being painful when in fact they are. This means not only is cow welfare being compromised so too is production because the cow may be less likely to eat.”

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Action Alerts

Demand Congressional Investigation into Puppy Mill Abuses Allowed by USDA
Tell Congress to launch an immediate investigation to demand that the minimal protections of The Animals Welfare act be enforced. A scathing federal report has documented years of abuse inside licensed dog dealers without meaningful penalties or enforcement actions from the USDA.

CONTACT:
your U.S. Representative
your U.S. Senators

Oppose Roundup Of More Than 2,000 Wild Horses and Burros
Despite strong opposition from thousands of Americans, the BLM’s Eagle Lake Field Office is proceeding with, and accepting public comments on, their proposal to remove 1,855 wild horses and 210 burros from the Twin Peaks HMA, northeast of Susanville, California. The roundup is tentatively planned for August and September, 2010.
The Eagle Lakes Field Office’s failure to manage the horses and burros of Twin Peaks on the range has created a perpetual cycle of roundups, removals, and stockpiling of horses in holding facilities, costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars and subjecting thousands of horses to trauma and distress.
check out IDA action alert
COMMENTS DUE JUNE 18th

Chevron – No Drill, No Spill!
Tell Chevron and Big Oil to stop building dirty energy projects on the backs of sea turtles.
To contact Directly:
Samuel H. Armacost
Lead Director
Chevron Board of Directors
6001 Bollinger Canyon Road
San Ramon, CA 94583
phone (925) 842.1000
online email form

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News of Note

 

Animal Rights On The March
Animal rights, circa 2010, is a sophisticated, well organized, mainstream movement — with far-reaching implications for ordinary Americans and American businesses. So far, the movement’s greatest successes have come at the state level, but activists have now firmly trained their sights on Washington.  De minimus rights for the millions of animals on so-called factory farms are but one prong of an ambitious agenda.

 
Plaintiffs With Fins? The Legal Rights of Oil Spill’s Animal Victims
Do the wildlife victims of the current oil spill in the Gulf have any legal rights?  The short answer: not really.  There are no laws that exist simply to protect animal interests. U.S. law protects animals as property. That means laws designed to protect animals exist only to protect the interests of their owners or the public, say animal activists who specialize in animal law. And some animals are entirely exempt from the laws.

 

$100,000 bond set in dairy cruelty case
Gregg appeared in a video released late Tuesday by Mercy For Animals, an animal-rights group based in Chicago that promotes a vegan lifestyle. The group sent an undercover employee into Conklin Dairy Farms on Rt. 42 near Plain City and recorded over the past three weeks what it says is about 20 hours of footage showing Conklin employees – mainly Gregg – viciously beating and abusing what appear to be otherwise healthy cows and calves.
Also see this story

 

 

Otter that survived Exxon Valdez is euthanized
For years, Nuka had struggled with immune-system problems, poor skin and fur, and seemed unable to groom herself properly, which meant she ate more than normal to avoid hypothermia. While no one could say what caused her problems, they were consistent with early exposure to petroleum.  Nuka came to represent the kind of risks BP’s oil spill poses for marine life in the Gulf of Mexico.

 

In E. Coli Fight, Some Strains Are Largely Ignored
Although the federal government and the beef and produce industries have known about the risk posed by these other dangerous bacteria for years, regulators have taken few concrete steps to directly address it or even measure the scope of the problem. For three years, the United States Department of Agriculture has been considering whether to make it illegal to sell ground beef tainted with the six lesser-known E. coli strains, which would give them the same outlaw status as their more famous cousin. The meat industry has resisted the idea, arguing that it takes other steps to keep E. coli out of the beef supply and that no outbreak involving the rarer strains has been definitively tied to beef.

 

Meatless Mondays, a movement that has legs
Batali is one of the movement’s latest and most high-profile supporters. But on the vegetable front, he is hardly a pioneer. Baltimore City Public Schools launched meatless Mondays for its 82,000 students in October. Thirty-two U.S. hospitals have signed on to the Balanced Menu Challenge, a commitment to reduce meat purchases by 20 percent. This spring, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors approved a resolution calling on schools, restaurants and stores to offer meatless options, and the state of Michigan held a one-day “Meatout” during which residents were encouraged not to eat meat.

 

 

 

 

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