News of Note

U.S. touts fruit and vegetables while subsidizing animals that become meat
On Myplate, the federal food diagram published in June to show Americans a healthful diet, half of the plate contains fruits and vegetables, while roughly a third is made up of grains and about a fifth is reserved for “protein”: meat, eggs, beans and nuts. A separate, smaller circle is designated “dairy.”..The food plate looks healthful enough, but federal incentives to farmers reflect an entirely different agenda. In large part, the government pays farmers who grow food for animals that become meat.

Meat Supply’s ‘Precipitous’ Drop to Spur Prices to Records, Rabobank Says
U.S. meat and poultry production may drop as much as 5 percent next year, sending beef and pork prices to a record amid climbing feed costs and shrinking herds, according to Rabobank International.  Producers are curbing output as tighter feed supplies boost costs, which will lead to a “precipitous fall” in available meat in 2012, David Nelson, a global strategist at Rabobank, said in a report. The drop is compounded by a drought that is forcing ranchers in the Southwest to cull herds and by surging demand for U.S. beef in developing countries, he said.

Threats prevent Arkansas turkey drop
A traditional Arkansas turkey drop was aborted this year following threats from an animal rights group and the Federal Aviation Administration, observers said.  The traditional turkey dropping was torpedoed this year when People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals ponied up a $5,000 bounty for the arrest and conviction of anyone who dropped a turkey from the skies.  The pilot also had the feds on his tail in the form of a threat from an FAA official threatening to pull his license if any one of their team, present at the festival, witnessed any turkeys dropping, the newspaper said.

Felony animal cruelty law goes into effect Saturday in Nevada
Saturday, “Cooney’s Law” goes into effect, making such extreme animal cruelty or torture a felony in Nevada.  Holly Natwora, shelter manager for the SPCA of Northern Nevada, said the law also helps protect humans. She noted that social service workers and criminal behavior specialists testified in the Legislature about the link between animal abuse and violence against people.

In the crosshairs: Animal rights activists target Perry
Wild burro advocates have joined the primary season attacks on Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry, pressuring the Texas governor to take a look at his state’s wildlife protection policies.

STOP UBC Animal Research influences similar campaigns across Canada
STOP UBC Animal Research (STOP), an animal rights group that started at the University of British Columbia’s Vancouver campus, has begun working with other groups with similar goals at institutions across Canada.  For the past year, STOP has been very successful in bringing attention to animal experimentation at UBC, receiving coverage from both local and national media, as well as public responses from UBC President Stephen Toope. Their campaigns resulted in UBC sparing the lives of seven endangered sea turtles and four rhesus monkeys, all of which were slated for death.


FBI investigates vandalism of Tiburon salmon pens
Federal and local authorities are investigating vandalism at an environmental studies center that led to the release tens of thousands of baby Chinook salmon from holding pens, a practice animal rights activists have criticized as inhumane.  On Saturday, for the second time in a week, someone cut the pens’ netting, releasing 20,000 juvenile salmon called smolts nearly a month ahead of schedule.

Animal rights protesters block ODFW building
About a dozen protesters tried to lock out employees and the public Tuesday at Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife headquarters, with most of the demonstrators arriving just as the building was opening at 8 a.m.

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Declaration of Solidarity

We, as the Board of Directors of the Northwest Animal Rights Network,
recognize the culpability of corporations in the systematic exploitation and oppression of animals, in the promotion of their use, and in the violation of their interests by reducing them to commodities.

Whereas,
having examined the resolution and declaration voted upon and passed by the New York City General Assembly of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which takes a united stand against abusive corporate power and expresses solidarity “in a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments;”

And whereas,
noting with approval within their declaration the following statement among 23 listed grievances of corporate malfeasance, “(t)hey have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless animals, and actively hide these practices;”

And whereas,
we recognize that corporate oppression is negatively impacting all beings, both human and nonhuman, and see the need to stand in solidarity acting as agents for all human and nonhuman animals who are exploited and oppressed to express a feeling of mass injustice;

Thereby,
we stand unified as one with the New York City General Assembly, the Occupy Wall Street movement, the Occupy Seattle movement, and the other attendant populist movements across the nation. We will act in concert with their stated call to assert our power to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems all beings face; and generate solutions accessible to everyone.

On October 6, 2011, this resolution and declaration was presented at NARN’s monthly board meeting, voted upon, and passed unanimously .

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News of Note

Suit: Dairy cows systematically slaughtered to drive up price of milk
The class-action lawsuit accuses companies of slaughtering thousands of cows just to decrease supply.  Animal rights group Compassion Over Killing was the first to uncover the alleged systematic slaughter of healthy dairy cows in California. The group turned to Seattle attorney Steve Berman, who filed the suit claiming more than half a million U.S. dairy cows were slaughtered over seven years to artificially reduce the supply of milk and drive up prices.

Allegations of animal mistreatment at Princeton University surface
A whistleblower leaked graphic photographs and an eyewitness account of alleged animal mistreatment and killings by Princeton University’s Primate Neuroethology Laboratory yesterday as part of a campaign headed by Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN).

Animal group claims it set fire to Idaho fur store
Animal rights activists claimed responsibility on Monday for a fire that caused $100,000 in damage to a Boise-area store that sells fur coats and fireworks, authorities said.  No one was injured in the early morning blaze at Rocky Mountain Fur & Fireworks, a retailer in Caldwell, Idaho, about 30 miles northwest of the state capital.

Group wants Wisconsinites to cut cheese intake, displays message on billboard; Milk Marketing Board bothered
Wisconsin and cheese go hand in hand, right?  The long-standing relationship, however, is drawing a deadly comparison from a nonprofit group called Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. It is expected to place a billboard in De Pere that features the Grim Reaper wearing a Cheesehead with the words: “Warning: Cheese Can Sack Your Health.”


Kenmore Mercy Hospital is going meatless on Mondays
Under an effort spearheaded by manager of food services, Kathy McAlpine, the hospital is going meatless on Mondays. It’s all part of the Meatless Mondays program championed by former Beatles superstar Paul McCartney.  The idea is that omitting meat from your diet just one day a week will have a big effect on the environment, your health and even your pocketbook.

New Report Links Agricultural Subsidies to Childhood Obesity
A report by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, or U.S. PIRG, titled “Apples to Twinkies: Comparing Federal Subsidies of Fresh Produce and Junk Food” found that between 1995 and 2010, the U.S. has spent more than $260 billion on agricultural subsidies.  But while $262 million has gone to apples — the only fruit or vegetable with a significant subsidy — nearly $17 billion has spent on four common food additives — corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, corn starch and soy oils — known to contribute to weight gain.

Love of animals led to language and man’s domination of Earth
Humans became masters of the planet for a startling reason: our love of animals gave us unsurpassed power over nature. This is the claim of a leading American anthropologist who says our prehistoric ancestors’ intense relationships with other creatures – including those we hunt, keep as pets and use for food – propelled humanity towards global domination.

Rabbit control keeps Long Beach City College volunteers hopping
Two years ago, the population — now mainly abandoned pets — peaked, and more than 300 rabbits competed for food, space and mates on 112 acres.  The campus’ Rabbit Population Control Task Force, formed in 2009.  The group chose not to exterminate the rabbits but to instead round them up, spay or neuter them and put them up for adoption.

Risk Factors for Cat Cancer Could Have Human Implications
A recent, large-scale study on cat intestinal cancer has provided new insight into a common pet disease and its causes; the findings could ultimately benefit humans…Selting says that tracking animal cancer is important because animals share the environment with humans. By noting patterns of cancer development, doctors and veterinarians may become aware of environmental factors that could be causing tumor progression in different species, including humans.

Eagle views Santa Barbara Zoo as a cafeteria
Zoo officials tuck away a wide variety of potential meals, including meerkats, after the bald eagle starts hanging around. An eagle expert finally traps him, and he is released into the wild.  A bald eagle had winged its way into the Santa Barbara Zoo and started evidencing great interest in some of the zoo’s smaller, perhaps more delectable, inhabitants. He swooped low over the flamingos and perched on a rooftop just above the achingly cute meerkats, waiting. He showed no fear of humans.

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