Silver-ish Lining to the Bird Flu Cloud

Apparently the bird flu scare in China has led to “significant” profit losses for Yum Foods, the parent company of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Unfortunately we are still not talking profit losses that will require the closing of all KFCs worldwide (take a moment to daydream about that…), but something in the order of $120 million in just three months, with more expected this year. Before you decide to kick back and get out of the activism business, after a campaign to somehow reassure customers that KFC is “high-quality food” Yum is STILL planning to open seven hundred new KFCs across China this year.

 

 

 

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Protest “Urban Tarzan” Premiere with Real Chimpanzee

The new Spike TV show “Urban Tarzan” had a premiere episode featuring a young chimpanzee actor. There is a growing public awareness about the many ethical problems — brutal training practices are just one example — caused by using chimpanzees in entertainment. Please ask the show’s producers to remove the episode from the air, and to pledge never to use primates in their productions again.

You may send your letter to the creators and executive producer, Mark Basile at:
mark@axiusinc.com

You may also submit comments to Spike TV’s Facebook page, or post concerned Tweets. 

Sample Letter to Urban Tarzan:

Dear Mr. Basile:

I was extremely disappointed to hear that Urban Tarzan featured a young chimpanzee actor in the first episode. You should know that chimpanzees used in entertainment are torn away from their mothers as infants, often repeatedly beaten during training, and then discarded when they become too strong to be managed.

The show is supposed to be about rescuing wild animals from human homes, but since it is staged you are not following your own advice! Chimpanzees do not belong in human homes and they do not belong on TV either. Aside from welfare concerns, their appearance in the media seriously hinders conservation efforts. Surely you are aware that chimpanzees are endangered species in critical need of protection?

Please make the compassionate decision to remove the chimpanzee episode from rotation, and please consider to never exploit great apes for entertainment purposes again. Thank you for your consideration of my comments on this urgent matter.

Sincerely,
[Your name here]

Activist letters have successfully moved other companies to remove content with chimpanzee actors, so never think your efforts are wasted! (No act of kindness ever is.)

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Hopefully These Drones Will Save Lives

PETA will soon be getting one or more drone aircraft with which to monitor hunters.  Drones are already being used to carry out elephant counts in the African nation of Burkina Faso, because they are cheaper and easier to operate than planes. The World Wildlife Fund will also be using anti-poaching drones (paid for by Google) in Africa and Asia. PETA’s drones will not be weaponized (you can’t hear it but my voice is regretful) and will only be used to film illegal hunting activity, information that will then be turned over to law enforcement.  Illegal deer and dove hunters, bighorn sheep hunters and bowhunters will be targeted, as well as hunters who are drinking and out to maim for fun. Eventually, the drones will also be used to check on factory farms and fishing spots on or off shore as well — anywhere “animals routinely suffer and die.” One drone, put into action by an AR group in South Carolina last year, was shot down. The upside is a slightly increased risk of hunting accidents.

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Ringling Elephant Shot in Drive-By

One of Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus Asian elephants was shot in the shoulder on Tuesday morning outside BancorpSouth Arena in Tulepo, northern Mississippi. The elephant was allegedly fine and “walking around eating carrots” after 20 minutes and being treated by zoo staff and a local veterinarian. I can’t help but feel there is information lacking there — and a lot more care. The local police captain said the crime will be pursued as a federal offense since the elephant is endangered.

Just beating them is OK, though.

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“Do what’s best for the elephants”

Yesterday, The Seattle Times published an editorial opinion piece by David Hancocks, former director of Woodland Park Zoo. His message: Elephants at the zoo are suffering. These complex social creatures cannot have even their basic needs met in a zoo environment.

Thanks to The Seattle Times and letters from the people of Seattle, the plight of Watoto, Chai, and Bamboo is getting attention from decision-makers.

Watoto the elephant pacing in a cage

Unlike their wild counterparts, elephants in captivity do not thrive. Their lifespans are shorter, their natural social bonds are severed, and they are deprived of the enriched environments they need to keep physically and psychologically well.

Elephants are active animals and travel miles and miles every day. In Woodland Park zoo, they have a measly acre to pace in—when they’re let outside.

The elephants at Woodland Park Zoo deserve to be released to a sanctuary. The wheels are in motion. Public opinion is changing and people are siding with the elephants. It’s time, in the words of Mr. Hancocks, to “do what’s best for the elephants.”

Please write to the zoo at:

Woodland Park Zoo, 601 N. 59th Street, Seattle, WA  98103
Email: woodlandparkzoopr@zoo.org and zooinfo@zoo.org

Address letters to:

  • Dr. Deborah B. Jensen, President and CEO
  • Bruce Bohmke, Chief Operations Officer
  • Jamie Creola, VIce President of Education
  • Dr. Darin Collins, Director of Animal Health
  • Dr. Nancy Hawkes, General Curator
  • Valerie Krueger, Director of Finance
  • David Schaefer, Director of Communications & Public Affairs
  • Gigi Allianic, Media and Public Relations

Also please write the mayor, your city council member, and especially Sally Bagshaw the Parks Committee Chair.

Mike McGinn, Mayor
mike.mcginn@seattle.gov, 206-684-4000

Sally Bagshaw, Seattle City Council, Parks Committee Chair
sally.bagshaw@seattle.gov, 206-684-8801

Richard Conlin, Seattle City Council, Council President
richard.conlin@seattle.gov, 206-684-8805

Sally J. Clark, Seattle City Council
sally.clark@seattle.gov, 206-684-8802

Nick Licata, Seattle City Council
nick.licata@seattle.gov, 206-684-8803

Bruce Harrell, Seattle City Council
bruce.harrell@seattle.gov, 206-684-8804

Tim Burgess, Seattle City Council
tim.burgess@seattle.gov, 206-684-8806

Jean Godden, Seattle City Council
jean.godden@seattle.gov, 206-684-8807

Tom Rasmussen, Seattle City Council
tom.rasmussen@seattle.gov, 206-684-8808

Mike O’Brien, Seattle City Council
mike.obrien@seattle.gov, 206-684-8800

Deborah Jensen, Woodland Park Zoo President
deborah.jensen@zoo.org, 206-548-2416

Or send a letter to each of the above council members at the following address:
[Name of Councilmember]
Seattle City Hall
P.O. Box 34025
Seattle, WA 98124-4025

Or fax them at 206-684-8587.

You can learn more about the elephants at the zoo and the efforts to release them to a sanctuary, at Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants.

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New bird flu hits China

Here’s another reason to go vegan:

A strain of avian flu recently broke out in China and authorities in three cities there have shut down live bird markets. Sadly for the birds, whose death awaited them at the markets anyway, 20,000 birds have already been killed as a precaution.

caged chickens at a market in China

H7N9 has been found in pigeons so they’re being slaughtered, along with chickens, geese, ducks and other birds at the markets.

Twenty-one people have contracted the flu, and six deaths have been reported. So far, there haven’t been signs of human-to human transmission.

Keeping birds in close quarters, where they can spread the avian flu, isn’t a good practice. The best way to help birds and people is to ditch meat and eat a vegan diet.

 

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Protesting the fur industry

Have you ever seen anti-fur demonstrations downtown Seattle?

Anti-fur demonstrators at Nordstrom

If you’re walking past Nordstrom and you’re offered an anti-fur leaflet, here’s why:

Nordstrom continues to sell fur despite the cruel nature of the industry. As long as fur is sold at Nordstrom, Action for Animals will continue to organize demonstrations outside the department store. NARN members frequently join AFA at the demos to shed light on the horrors that millions of animals endure in the name of fashion. Farmed fur animals gassed, poisoned, or genitally electrocuted. Wild-caught animals suffer for days in traps and break bones and teeth trying to free themselves.

We want Nordstrom to know that it’s unacceptable to sell fur, and we want to let consumers know about the barbaric practices they’d support if they buy fur.

The good news is, fur is completely avoidable. If you think suffering and death is too high a price to pay for fashion, you’ve got choices. There are a lot of retailers who don’t sell fur. There’s even a list to help you shop with your conscience.

So if you see AFA and NARN outside Nordstrom, say hi or join in! We appreciate your support. While you’re at it, tell Nordstrom you won’t shop there until they stop selling fur. Here’s a petition you can sign and a sample letter.

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Bill Gates promotes veganism

You know veganism is going mainstream when people like former President Bill Clinton cut out meat, eggs, and dairy. Now, Bill Gates is on board, with a feature on his website called The Future of Food.

Bill Gates

Gates is primarily concerned with the environmental impact of meat eating as the developing world readies itself for economic growth. Meat production is a cruel, unsustainable industry that damages water supplies and land–and that’s what Bill Gates is trying to change.

He supports new innovations in plant-based foods and wants to reinvent the way people eat. Instead of fixing a broken system, he’s working with companies who want to turn the industry on it’s head and start a whole new model. A plant-based model.

Less land, less water, and no animal cruelty is a model that benefits everyone.

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Action Alerts

 

Malaysia’s monkey war: Take action!
Nearly 100,000 free-living long-tailed macaque monkeys have been killed per year in Malaysia, during 2011 and 2012. And the extermination is continuing. This massive “culling” has been conducted by Malaysia’s own Department of Wildlife and National Parks.
Write to Malaysian officials to protest this monkey war!

Sample letter:

Dear ____,

I would like to protest the Malaysian government’s decision to kill up to 100,000 long-tailed macaque monkeys per year. Not only is this level of slaughter shockingly inhumane, it is also unsustainable. At this rate, this fascinating and unique species could be extinct in Malaysia within a decade.

There are many more productive ways to reduce human-monkey conflicts in urban areas. These include public education, proper sanitation procedures, and contraceptive campaigns. Such measures have already been used with success in Hong Kong and Singapore.

I urge you to put a halt to this destruction of Malaysia’s wildlife heritage.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Minister of Natural Resources, Department of Wildlife and National Parks:
Y.B. Dato Sri Douglas Uggah Embas
Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment
Level 17, lot 4G3
Precint 4
Federal Government Administrative Centre
62514 Putrajaya
MALAYSIA

Prime Minister of Malaysia:
The Honourable Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak
Office of the Prime Minister
Main Block, Perdana Putra Building
Federal Government Administrative Centre
62502 Putrajaya
MALAYSIA

Also Contact these Malaysian Embassies

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