Giving livestock isn’t charitable

Imagine, if you will, that you live in an impoverished community in an underdeveloped nation. Your one-room hut has a dirt floor without electricity or running water. You have to a make a fire just so you can cook. Food is scarce but you do your best to feed your children.

Then a western charity gives you a cow (or goat, or maybe a flock of chickens) so you can use this animal to improve your life. Sounds good, right?

Not so fast.

Ever raised a cow? Tried predator-proofing a chicken coop? Taking care of animals is hard to do. It’s a real burden, especially for people trying to raise a family and meet their basic needs.

Cow in Africa

Livestock costs a lot. Animals get sick and require vet care, they drink a lot of water (water that might not be easily accessible), and they eat food that could be used to feed people. Animals eat more than they produce. Often the price of food for livestock is greater than the money families can get from selling milk or meat.

The chances of the animals getting good care (when people can’t give their families proper care) are slim. Sometimes animals are used as currency and are bartered away. Other times children are pulled out of school to tend to the animals.

goats drinking

Eating high on the food chain isn’t wise. But western charities promoting western lifestyles and diets, would make you think it’s ideal. By introducing western eating habits, they’re introducing western diseases. The majority of people in countries where livestock is gifted are lactose intolerant anyway, so what good is a dairy cow?

The environmental costs of bringing more animals into a region are high too. Water pollution and waste runoff is one issue; desertization of land is another. Raising animals for food is a bigger contributor to global warming than all forms of transportation combined.

If you care about animals, please don’t give money to charities that promote the mistreatment and slaughter of animals. If you’re looking for ways to help others, look for organizations that promote ethical, sustainable ways to invest in communities. Here are a few:

Alternatives

  • Vegfam – Self-supporting, sustainable, plant-based food programs, and water resources.
  • Trees for Life - Fruit trees, books, education, clean water, and fuel-efficient stoves.
  • Plenty - Plant-based nutrition, healthcare, education, self-sufficiency, and disaster relief.
  • A Well-Fed World - Plant-based nutrition, education, farm animal rescue, and food sharing.
  • Kiva - Micro-loans for people to start small businesses and get themselves out of poverty.
  • SALEM – Education, shelter, environmental protection, nutrition information, and vegetarian meals.

Further reading

Contact Amazon About Kopi Luwak Coffee

Kopi Luwak coffee, marketed by Amazon, is made from coffee beans that are fed to Asian civets (small, cat-like mammals) and then excreted. The civets are hunted and captured in the wild and then imprisoned alone in tiny, barren cages. They’re deprived of everything: freedom, space, companions, even their real food. They bite at the cage bars, turn in circles, and go insane from being imprisoned with no escape. Without adequate nutrition, they begin to lose their fur. All of this cruelty is just for a novelty coffee sold by companies such as Amazon.com.

A PETA Asia investigator visited civet coffee farms in Indonesia and the Philippines, two of the world’s top producers of kopi luwak. Undercover footage from these farms shows sick, depressed civets suffering from infections and exhibiting signs of zoochosis, a stress–induced neurotic condition that causes captive animals to spin, pace, and bob their heads in constant frantic displays of frustration.While kopi luwak is often advertised as “wild–sourced,” farmers told the investigator that it would be nearly impossible to produce exclusively wild–sourced civet coffee and that the industry knowingly mislabels coffee from captive animals. At two farms, the investigator was told that they “didn’t have a problem” with putting a “100% wild–sourced” or similar label on coffee from caged civets. You can watch a PETA video below.

Please leave comments about this cruelly produced coffee on Amazon.com. People OFTEN read comments before buying products, and most have no idea of the inherent cruelty involved in this coffee production. AND contact Jeff Bezos directly at Jeff@amazon.com.

 

L.A. BANS BULLHOOKS!

TODAY, Wednesday 23rd, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed an ordinance banning the use of bullhooks on circus elephants.

“(Elephants) are trained and guided with bullhooks, which are used to inflict pain upon them and sometimes cut them when they’re hit,” said Councilman Paul Koretz. “We really want to change that. We think it’s a very cruel practice.” Of course, the ban on bullhooks means that circuses, traveling shows and other events that feature elephants would not be able to perform anywhere in the city, because the bullhook is how the handlers maintain control. A spokesman for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, says the ban was being driven by animal rights activists who want to force the circus out of the city.

UNFORTUNATELY, the ban allows for a three-year phase-in period — some of which will no doubt be used by the circuses trying to find a replacement for the bullhook. Presciently, the ban already includes baseball bats, axe handles and pitchforks. No mention of electric cattle prods, though.

Congratulations, L.A.!

ACT to End the Namibian Seal Slaughter

Namibia seal slaughter

Thought the Canadians were the only ones? Nope. (Just as the Japanese are the most well-known dolphin/whale killers, although the Danish Faroe Islanders do it too.)

The Namibian government continues to allow and promote the slaughter of Cape fur seals despite the fact that the population has been hard-hit already by three mass die-offs, in which seals starved to death by the tens of thousands, since 2000. Cape fur seal pups are born between late October and early January. The mother seals nurse their young for about a year or even longer.
For 140 days, staring around July 1st, the Namibian government permits the killing of about 85,000 nursing baby Cape Fur seals…on the pretext of creating employment for 120 unskilled workers living in cardboard shacks near the seal colony.

Send letters to Prime Minister Dr. Hage Geingob at Office of the Prime Minister, Windhoek, Namibia. He can also be called/faxed (he speaks fluent English) at

Tel: +264-61-287 2002
Fax: +264-61-24 9546

You can also write to Hatem Yavuz, the furrier responsible for buying the Namibian fur, here:

http://www.harpseals.org/help/letters_and_emails/hatem_yavuz.php

 

TELL AQUARIUMS THEIR DIRTY SECRET IS OUT

There are 50 marine parks in Japan, housing about FIVE HUNDRED dolphins, almost all captured during violent and deadly drive hunts. Many of these Japanese dolphinariums are members of JAZA, the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The infamous Taiji Whale Museum, which has become the Japanese brokering facility for dolphins captured during the drive hunt, is a member of JAZA. So are numerous other Japanese dolphinariums that take advantage of the dolphin massacres to obtain dolphins.Thus, JAZA members keep the brutal dolphin hunt alive by doing business with the dolphin killers, This should not come as any surprise to you, since zoos and aquariums rarely act FOR animals, but it may surprise you that already in 2005, the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) issued a statement entitled “WAZA Members not to Purchase Dolphins from Drive Fisheries”. It opposed the Japanese dolphin hunt in no uncertain terms, instructing its members to “adhere to the WAZA Code of Ethics and Animal Welfare [ha!] and to ensure that they do not accept animals obtained by the use of methods which are inherently cruel.” The statement continues: “In a resolution adopted at the WAZA …it was clearly stated that the catching of dolphins by the use of a method known as “drive fishing” is considered an example of such a non acceptable capture method.”

On its website, WAZA says: “All members of the WAZA Network are obliged to comply with WAZA’s Code of Ethics and Animal Welfare.” And: “Failure to satisfy or adhere to the Bylaws, Code of Ethics and all other rules and regulations shall be sufficient cause for suspension or denial of membership.”

And yet, WAZA welcomes JAZA, its Japanese counterpart, as an association member. 

So…WAZA has the power to document, expose and stop the world’s largest dolphin slaughter. More than 600 million people walk through the gates of the WAZA Network each year; ALL of them could be reached with a message to stop the dolphin slaughter. After all, the world’s dolphinariums claim that they capture and confine dolphins in order to educate the public to the various threats that dolphins face in nature. If the world’s largest network of zoos and aquariums is not going to educate the public to the largest slaughter of dolphins in the world – then W T F  ARE they doing??

(This entire issue does not even take into account that the conditions for dolphins in many of the ‘accredited’ marine parks are so dreadful as to be a living death.)

So while WAZA’s actions — or lack of action — may not surprise you, it WILL surprise them to get a flood of letters from angry and disgusted people who know what is going on. Please, be one of them.

Dr. Gerald Dick, Executive Director
World Association of Zoos and Aquariums
IUCN Conservation Centre
Rue Mauverney 28
CH-1196 Gland
Switzerland
fax: +41 (0)22 999 07 91
online contact form

SAMPLE LETTER

Dr. Dick:

I am asking you to take action against those member aquariums of WAZA that continue to purchase dolphins and small whales that are caught in dolphin drive hunts such as the one in Taiji, Japan. According to your own statements, these aquariums should be expelled from WAZA, including member groups of JAZA, the regional association member of WAZA.

As you very well know but choose to overlook, hundreds, if not thousands, of dolphins are ruthlessly slaughtered each year in these barbaric hunts. Despite their grandiose claims, aquariums and dolphin brokers actually HELP the dolphin killers in their work, paying the fishermen high prices for a few live dolphins, and condemning the rest to horrific deaths. Thus WAZA and the world aquarium industry subsidizes the killing of dolphins in Taiji. Please take steps now to end the hunts. Because you can.

Sincerely,

 

URGENT: CONTACT THE US FISH&WILDLIFE SERVICE RE WOLVES

It was not many decades ago that America’s wolves had been hunted and trapped to the brink of extinction. Even now, the estimated 6,000 remaining wolves occupy less than 5% of their historic range, yet the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has already announced plans to remove all federal protection from them, stripping them of endangered species protection in the lower 48 states and turning management over to the individual states  – most of which consider trapping, hounding and aerial gunning perfectly acceptable. This plan to delist wolves would allow increased hunting quotas driven by political pressure from trophy-hunters, trapping organizations, and ranchers.

The US Fish & Wildlife Service is now accepting public comments on this proposal. We ask you to send yours TODAY, and ask them NOT to remove federal protection from wolves:

Snow Leopards Have Surprising Protectors

The snow leopard is listed as globally endangered because its effective population size (the number of individuals likely to reproduce) is believed to be less than 2,500. However, a recent report in the journal Conservation Biology shows it has some very unexpected protectors: Buddhist monks.

Leopards

About 60% of the leopards live in the high regions of China, where their thick fur keeps them warm.  However, they are also targeted by the Chinese for this fur, as well as for their internal organs, which are used in traditional Chinese medicine (along with parts of MANY other animals, endangered and otherwise). As a result, the snow leopard population has dropped by about 20% in the last two decades.
Because of Buddhism’s basic tenet of respect and compassion for all living beings, several conservation organizations began working with four monasteries in the region of the Tibetan plateau in 2009, training monks to protect wildlife. Now, thousands of monks from hundreds of monasteries patrol the wilderness to prevent the killing of snow leopards. In fact, far more leopards are protected by Buddhist monks in Tibet than in the specific areas set aside for their protection. The monks also teach the local people that killing them is wrong. In recent household surveys, most people say they do not kill wildlife, citing Buddhism’s nonviolence as their reasoning.
So….since about 80% of the people within the snow leopards’ natural range do practice Tibetan Buddhism, there are plans to expand these programs even further.
Great to see religion as a force to help animals for a change.

Primate Liberation Week

October 12-20th is Primate Liberation Week, a time when we raise awareness and put extra efforts into helping primates in labs.

Over 70,000 primates (including rhesus monkeys, baboons, squirrel monkeys, capuchin monkeys, chimpanzees, marmosets and tamarins) are experimented on every year in the United States.

Action alerts:

1) The UW is considering expanding their animal labs, which would mean more animals (primates included) would be experimented on. Read NARN’s previous post about UWs plans and how you can contact them and ask them not to waste time, money, and precious lives on outdated research methods.

2) Join The Bunny Alliance’s campaign against Delta Air Lines. As a part of Primate Liberation week, on Wednesday, October 16, make a polite phone call to the headquarters of Delta Air Lines during office hours (9am-5pm EST) and tell Delta to use its partnership with Air France to convince Air France to stop transporting primates and other animals to labs.

Contact: Delta Headquarters Corporate Communications at 404-715-2554, fax them at 404-715-5876 or go to delta.com and click comment/complaint to voice your concerns.

Tell Delta: “I’m asking that Delta Air Lines use its partnership with Air France to convince Air France to stop transporting animals to laboratories and to enact a permanent policy against doing so.”

See additional talking points and info at the Bunny Alliance’s Facebook page or on their website.

Learn more about primates in labs and what you can do at Stop Animal Exploitation Now.

Victories:

Thank you for all that you do for the animals!

Kent and Everett circus wrap-up

The circus has come and gone, and we’d like to extend a HUGE thank you to everyone who came out to the demos and helped in any way. Your presence in Kent and Everett sends a strong message that we won’t tolerate animal abuse of any kind–and when we see it, we speak up!

circus demo collage

The demos couldn’t happen without you. We know you could have done something else with your time, but you chose to speak up for animals. Being part of a protest isn’t easy. Thank you for stepping out of your comfort zones to help educate circus-goers. The signs you made were terrific, and your pleasant demeanors helped to open minds and change attitudes.

As activists, we sow seeds, but we don’t always see the fruits of our labor. Here are a few examples of how the demos are helping:

  • One woman’s kids never want to go to an animal circus again–because of the comic book they received.
  • In Everett, a woman whose friend invited her to the circus said she’d never considered what happens to the animals. She didn’t want to go to the circus, but the tickets were purchased. Next year, she won’t go.
  • After seeing the circus, a woman escorting some disabled adults said she was upset at what she saw and that what was happening to the elephants wasn’t right. She took some literature and will talk to her boss about finding something different for her clients to do next year.
  • At the Kent demo, some little girls told a protestor that they didn’t want to go to the circus because they had seen “An apology to elephants” on HBO but that their mom was making them go. They took literature so they could talk to their friends about why animal circuses were bad.
  • Another woman, after receiving a flyer, promised not to come back next year. She thought her kids would like it but realized that animal circuses are depressing and don’t send kids the right message.
  • One man, whose kids had their activist coloring books confiscated by circus security on the way in, turned around and declared that they were going to see a movie instead.

Thank you for making a difference. Whether you’re a seasoned activist or brand new at this, you were an important part of the demos. We loved seeing familiar faces and meeting new people.

Kent Friday demo

Kent Thurs demo

Everett Thursday demo

Everett Saturday demo

Everett Saturday 2 demo

Thank you all!!

UW Considering Animal Lab Expansion

A recent Seattle Times article describes the University of Washington’s plans to build a new underground animal research facility. The UW already tortures thousands of animals and the article states, “The new building would allow the UW to increase the number of rodents it uses in research by 10 to 20 percent, and the number of rabbits, pigs and primates by 30 to 50 percent.”

But the facility plans have not yet been approved!

Because the cost of the facility rose from $83 million to $123 million, the UW Board of Regents pulled the approval of the facility. The UW is working on proposal revisions to reduce the cost and gain the Board’s approval.

We must use this delay to convince the UW Board of Regents to NOT approve the new animal research facility.

Speak Out NOW!

  1. Contact the Board of Regents by emailing regents@uw.edu. Politely write about why you do not want the board to approve the new animal research facility and your email will be shared with the Regents. Encourage your friends and family to also email.
  2. Make a public comment at the UW Board of Regents’ meeting THIS Thursday, October 10th, at 1:00 pm.
    If you are able to attend the meeting:
    ~
    Sign up to make a public comment at the meeting using this online form.
    ~ Each speaker will be allowed two minutes, so prepare your comment before the meeting.
    *Please email amanda@afa-online.org when you’ve signed up so that we know how many people will be speaking.*

Talking Points:

1) The new animal research facility will cost more than just the price of the facility. Other expenses will include:

  • Paying for fines: The UW has already been cited by the USDA multiple times for neglect and improper care of animals; such violations would increase if the UW uses more animals in research. You can see additional info about UW’s treatment of animals here.
  • Combating the negative press that both local and national animal rights groups and other concerned citizens will create in response to a new animal research facility.
  • Dealing with the loss of alumni support and potential students who don’t want to be involved with a university whose record of animal neglect and torture is refreshed in the public eye.

2) Since the UW is considered a leader in scientific research, the UW should be dedicated to pushing advancements in research technology rather than expanding its reliance on outdated and unethical animal research methods that produce inaccurate results.

If you are or have been a student at the UW (or have some other relationship to the UW), make that relationship clear in our email or public comment. Also keep in mind that the Board cares about the expense of the facility and its impact on the UW’s future.

** Special thanks to Action for Animals for leading this action alert and getting this message distributed (the content in this post is from AFA). You can find out more about the lab expansion on AFA’s Facebook page.