About Anika

Why I'm vegan: I believe that we create our future and I want a future for all animals and our planet that is not based on greed, but on compassion, reason, and generosity. I think that veganism is the future and that a sustainable world will require animal liberation. Why I'm with NARN: I really dislike when people complain about how things are, but don't take action. I don't want to be one of those people. I want to walk the walk, as they say. Also, I realize that I came to veganism by being influenced by other people. I'd like to do the same for others. Favorite quote: "It is never too late to be what you might have been." - George Eliot

World Laboratory Animal Liberation Week 2014

Hello animal advocates and liberators of all kinds! World Laboratory Animal Liberation Week 2014 is officially April 19-27, just around the corner. Here are the local events that we are aware of and we hope you can join us, NARN members, individual activists, and other organizations as we work to inform the public and protest against the exploitation of non-human animals in laboratories. Your voice matters. This is the time to speak up.

AnimalsLabLiberation2014

  • Friday April 18, 2014 at 12 pm: Join local activists protesting the horrors inside the UW Infant Primate Research Lab. Details and RSVP on Facebook.
  • Saturday April 19, 2014 at 12 pm: Public education and outreach about the UW Primate Research Center across from the SAM Sculpture Park. Details and RSVP on Facebook.
  • Saturday April 19, 2014 at 2 pm: Join Art for Animals Sake Lantern workshop in preparation for “Shedding Light” vigil (see below). Details and RSVP on Facebook.
  • Tuesday April 22, 2014 at 7 pm: Join Art for Animals Sake for the “Shedding Light” vigil with 280 hand made paper lanterns representing the animals planned for the UW laboratory expansion: Details and RSVP on Facebook.
  • Saturday April 26, 2014: Join The Bunny Alliance in protesting Delta’s involvement in the flying of primates, dogs, and other animals to laboratories. RSVP and details on Facebook.
  • Anytime: Fill out the change.org petition started by Art for Animals Sake.

Not all of these are NARN events. If you have questions, please contact the organization via their Facebook event page. Thank you everyone for giving up just a few hours of your time to work for animal liberation. Follow NARN on twitter at @NARNtweet.

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NARN Member Grant to Attend the Animal Rights National Conference 2014

What: NARN wants to help a passionate animal activist who would have trouble affording the trip attend the Animal Rights National Conference in L.A. July 10-13, 2014. Learning from scholars and activists shouldn’t just be open to those who can afford it. Check out the incredible list of speakers from all over the world, from groups big and small, with a wide variety of perspectives and philosophies. There is something for everyone.

ARConf2014

Who: Any current NARN member who is passionate about learning more about animal activism, animal liberation, animal rights, vegan outreach, intersectionality of oppression, and networking with fellow activists from around the world but who can’t easily pay for the cost of going. Preference will be given to applicants who have volunteered with NARN or shown some type of interest in activism already.

Funding: NARN will help cover the round trip flight from Seattle to LA, 4 nights hotel accommodations at the Westin LAX Hotel, 4 days of food, Event Registration Fee, and a ticket to the evening banquet. This package is worth approximately $1,100.

Application: http://tinyurl.com/ARconf
Deadline: May 2, 2014

Winner: NARN board members will score applicants based on five criteria as outlined in the application: 1. Amount of involvement with NARN, activism, or vegan outreach the applicant has already demonstrated 2. What they hope to gain from the conference 3. How they will bring what they learn back to the NARN community 4. Any unique background, ideas, or approach the applicant brings 5. Financial need.

Please apply! Hope to see you there!

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Dangerous Crossings: a talk with Dr. Claire Jean Kim in Seattle

The University of Washington Graduate School and the Northwest Animal Rights Network  is honored to sponsor an evening community talk with Dr. Claire Jean Kim on Friday May 2, 2014 at El Centro De La Raza on Beacon Hill.

Dr. Claire Jean Kim

Dr. Claire Jean Kim

Dr. Kim is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Asian American Studies at University of California, Irvine, where she teaches graduate and undergraduate classes on racial politics, multiculturalism, social movements, and human-animal studies. Her most recent book, Race, Species and Nature in a Multicultural Age (Cambridge University Press, 2014), examines the intersection of race, species and nature in impassioned disputes over how immigrants of color, racialized minorities, and Native people in the U.S. use animals in their cultural traditions.

Join Dr. Kim in a discussion on how might we re-imagine the human, the animal, and nature outside of relations of domination. What would justice in a multi-racial, multi-species world look like? RSVP on the Facebook event page here to reserve your spot. We are particularly proud to be offering this talk at El Centro de la Raza (Center for People of All Races). Read more about their guiding principals.

If getting to the University of Washington campus is easier for you, Dr Kim will also be speaking on Thursday evening, May 1, 2014 at Kane Hall at 6:30 pm. More details on that event here.

Dangerous Crossings
Friday May 2, 2014
7:00 – 8:00 PM
El Centro De La Raza
2524 16th Avenue South
Seattle, WA 98144
RSVP on Facebook

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Does Leafleting Make You Uncomfortable?

Does the idea of vegan leafleting make you uncomfortable? Hate telling people what to do? Don’t want to be an inconvenient vegan? You aren’t some zealot after all. But what if you knew that just an hour of leafleting would save 12 animals from the horror of factory farming? That is twelve individuals who would be spared a short lifetime of torture, fear, neglect, and death. Twelve. For 60 minutes of your time.(1)

We know that people need to see/hear something on average of seven times before noticing it and we may need to hear something many different ways before understanding how it fits in with our lives. We also know that many, many, many people still don’t know what animals go through to become food and likely never think about the suffering and death behind their food choices. Add to this that people need to be in the right mind-set to take in counter-couture information, and it makes saving animals through adopting a vegan diet seem daunting.

LeafletingPhoto

Photos from Vegan Out Reach (http://www.veganoutreach.org/)

But. Do you remember why you became vegan? Whether you were influenced by someone in your life, something you read, or even something you discovered on your own, you likely came into contact with pro-vegan or pro-animal information many times before that moment without totally registering it. And having these memories probably helped build your overall education of animal exploitation and your response to that knowledge. Literature, websites, posters, videos, social media posts, essays, classes, leaflets and conversations with peers typically all help people discover, adopt, and maintain a more compassionate lifestyle. But that doesn’t happen magically. Caring, dedicated, and hopeful people have to create and distribute that information.

This is where you and leafleting come in. As Matt Ball, founder of Vegan Outreach explains, “For example, of you provide booklets to sixty new people tomorrow and just one decides to go vegetarian, you will have changed that person’s life forever. More importantly, you’ll have saved, with just a small investment of time or money, as many animals as you’ll save with every food choice you make during the rest of your life!” That is doubling your life impact in one day. Every person who adopts a vegetarian or vegan diet will save about one hundred animals each year(2).

Although it is difficult measure just how many people will reduce their meat consumption or go veg from one hour of leafleting, there are recent studies done on vegan leafleting on college campuses that can give us a hint. In a study by the Humane League and Compassionate Communities, they found:

  • About 1 out of every 50 students who received a leaflet indicated they became vegetarian or pescatarian as a result.
  • 7% of students (1 in 14) said they now eat “a lot less” chicken, a lot fewer eggs, and a lot less dairy as a result of getting the leaflet.
  • 6% eat a lot less fish.
  • 12% eat a lot less red meat.

And about 1 in 5 students said they shared the leaflet with someone else who then began to eat less meat.(3) The average audience may not be as receptive as college students, but even if they were half as receptive, leafleting still has a huge bang for its buck and for your time. Check out this great pamphlet by Mall Ball, “A Meaningful Life” for some additional inspiration.

You don’t have to do it alone. Join NARN on Saturday July 13, 2013 at 11:00 am for a quick introduction to leafleting best practices and then head out with a few other people to the West Seattle Summer Fest. RSVP on Facebook or email rachel [at] narn.org for more information. And if you are reading this post after July 13, just be sure to follow the NARN Facebook Page or subscribe to our newsletter to find out about future leafleting outings. And of course, you don’t have to wait for us – the power of leafleting is that it can be done by one person, anytime, anywhere.

Doing vegan outreach is not like religious proselytizing. You aren’t trying to convert anyone to any belief. You only giving them factual information that they might not otherwise have. Free information. Free recipes. Some inspiration. You don’t have to argue, convince, or cajole. Be open to conversation and remember to be compassionate towards human animals too.

More Resources for You!

References:
(1) Farm Sanctuary, Leaflet, http://ccc.farmsanctuary.org/promote-veg-eating/leaflet/ (2012).
(2) Mark Hawthorne, Striking at the Roots: A Practical Guide to Animal Activism (O-Books, 2008), 23.
(3) Nick Cooney, The Powerful Impact of College Leafleting (Part 1), http://ccc.farmsanctuary.org/the-powerful-impact-of-college-leafleting-part-1/ (Jan, 2012).

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Animal Rights National Conference 2013

Did you know that we are going to the Animal Rights National Conference June 27-June 30, 2013 in Washington DC? It’s true! Well, not the whole board, or every NARN member, but one board member and hopefully some NARN supporters.

If you haven’t heard of this conference, then you’ll be astounded by its breath: 3+ days of content, networking sessions, 90+ speakers, an awards banquet, 80+ vegan vendors, movie screenings, amazing sponsors (see below), and more than 1000 attendees. Not to mention, one of my personal heroes, stand up comedian, Myq Kaplan. Check out the extensive program.

I’m personally most excited by the sessions that focus on new strategies and the psychology of social change. Here are some of the talks I plan to attend and hopefully bring back all sorts of smarts for NARN and our NW community:

  • Nature of Social Change: social progress through struggle, stages of social change, recognizing victory – with Alex Hershaft.
  • Developing Our Movement: mission and vision, structure, alignments, issues, leadership, communications – with Caryn Ginsberg and Alex Hershaft.
  • Managing a Local Group: volunteers, meetings, workload distribution, working with nationals, finances – with Debra Erenberg and Carolyn Merino-Mullin.
  • Running Effective Campaigns: objectives, tactics, resources, action plan, special events, assessment – with Caryn Ginsberg and Michael Webermann.
  • Winning Hearts and Minds: theory of changing behavior directly and by impacting feelings and beliefs – with Alex Hershaft and Will Tuttle.
  • When Is Collaboration Justified?: how far can we work with an organization with a different vision? – with Saurabh Dalal and Paul Shapiro.
  • Applying Direct Action: getting attention and changing behavior through economic & social pressure – with Brenda Shoss, Andy Stepanian (who I met at Let Live and totally respect), Erwin Vermeulen, and Peter Young.
  • Commonality of Oppression: commonalities in the oppression of animals, children, women, minorities – with Dr. Baruch Ben Yehudah, Elizabeth DeCoux, pattrice jones, and Lisa Kemmerer.
  • Lessons From Abroad: novel tactics from other countries – with Tobias Leenaert, Sharon Núñez, Yossi Wolfson, and Sebastian Zösch.
  • Advertising Our Message: newspapers, public transport, billboards, radio/TV, internet – with Erica Meier and Nathan Runkle, another personal hero from Mercy for Animals.
  • Maintaining Your Online Presence: websites, e-newsletters, blogs, FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube – with Caryn Ginsberg and Colleen Holland.
  • War on Animal Activism: repression of social activism by government and corporate interests – with Sarahjane Blum, Elizabeth DeCoux, Will Potter (YESSSSSS!! The best!) and Ryan Shapiro.

AR-Conf-Sponsors

I’m particularly drawn to the talks that include Dr. Alex Hershaft. Originally from Warsaw  Poland, Dr. Hershaft is the founder of FARM USA and a holocaust survivor. I think his story, his life, his dedication, and even his non-AR reputation are fascinating and I hope to get to meet him personally.

If you want to get  last-minute flight to DC and join me, please do! If not, comment below on the talks you want me to attend and blog about. I can also purchase the audio recordings of any session you want for $9, the key notes for $15 each, or the entire 3 day conference for only $150.

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Outreach with 10 Billion Lives Tour at the UW

We all know this: right now, millions of animals are in pain, scared, hurt, and abused. They will endure this for few weeks or many years before their lives are ended early and violently. They don’t have the luxury of slow moving change, and egads, are we humans slow to catch on. Just like other major social movements throughout history, animals need people to take their voices and feet into the streets to teach, inform, and be advocates. That is what NARN is all about. They need us to stand up, speak out, and get involved. The animals are counting on us. By helping just one person go vegan, you can cancel out the suffering of as many as another 100 fish and fauna each year. If you could help 5 people, that would be 500+ earthlings!

reactions

We at NARN are so happy that  Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM) is bringing their North American Tour to Seattle. Their 10 Billion Lives van tours colleges and music festivals paying folks $1 to watch a 4 minute movie that highlights the inherently inhumane nature of animal agriculture and encourages viewers to start on a path toward a vegan diet.  Well 80% of viewers commit to eating less animal products. 

After folks watch the video they need other great vegans around to talk to, to answer questions. You can also give them some follow up literature to read. You can be the support network or the role model that they need to stop hurting animals.

“Every volunteer makes a HUGE difference in the success of the events. You can encourage more viewers by simply holding a sign or talk to people after they’ve watched the video and inspire them to put their compassion into action. For many viewers it’s a life changing experience.”

According to FARM, through video outreach they inspire young people to reflect deeply on their food choices and take action to create a more compassionate future for animals. They also talk about the health benefits of eliminating animal products as well as the environmental connections between factory farming and pollution, fossil fuel use, deforestation, water use, greenhouse gas emissions etc. But they need our help at the University of Washington June 3rd – 6th from 9:30am-3:30pm. They will also be at the Warped Tour music festival June 15th from 11:30am-5:30pm. You can volunteer to help. Just email Scheduling [at] 10billiontour.org or visit www.10billiontour.org.

If you aren’t sure how, go to the NARN Animal Activism 201: Psychology of Change the day before, Sunday June 2, 2013. We’ll get brave together.

flapdown

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Animal Activism 101 April 21 2013

NARN’s Animal Activism 101 is just around the corner and we are really excited. We hope that we can make the most of the two hours that you’ll spend with us!

First, for those of you who have never done activism before, we will share some ideas on how to pick the right activities for your skills, strengths, and interests and how to actually get started. For those of you who have done some activism, but are new to scene, we’ll share some tips, tricks, and best practices not only from NARN, but from other activists around the world.

Image for Animal Activism 101 April 21, 2013

Get ready to talk about the mechanics of: tabling, leafleting, demonstrations, writing, online activism, corporate campaigning, and using your unique talents and interests in making the world a better place for animals and spreading veganism far and wide.

We’ll also talk about dealing with stress, dabble in the psychology of change, and how to be strategic in planning your activism. We’ll even chat about dealing with people on a personal level.

 

We want to build the community of NW vegan and animal activists to be strong and connected. We can learn from each other, share what we know, support each other, and most importantly be as effective as possible for the animals. The animals can’t wait. They need us now. Their future depends on our work!

Sunday, April 21, 2013
12 – 2 pm
Cascade People’s Center
309 Pontius Ave N, Seattle, Washington 98109

Please RSVP on Facebook (or email info@narn.org) so we know how much snacks to bring. If you want to bring something to share, please let us know.

Stand up. Speak out. Get involved.

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Activist Willing to Learn

We’ve been planning some great content for the upcoming Animal Activism 101 session April 21, and thought now would be a great time to share some recommended reading. If you are interested in the whys and hows of getting active for animals, or are looking to augment your activism or animal rights knowledge, we recommend three books:

Striking at the Roots CoverStriking at the Roots: A Practical Guide to Animal Activism by by Mark Hawthorne (Dec 20, 2007). This book is perfect for getting a handle on exactly WHAT one can do to spread veganism or fight animal exploitation in ways that truly can work. It covers the basics from leafleting, letter writing, tabling, protests, and outreach all the way through corporate campaigning, multimedia, and direct action.  Mark also offers a great chapter on legal issues and another on caring for yourself as an activist. Each area he provides a success story of the practice in action and solid “how to” information. Make this your first stop from your couch to world changer.

Change of Heart CoverChange of Heart: What Psychology Can Teach Us About Spreading Social Change by Nick Cooney (Dec 1, 2010). This book answers the questions that so many activists and non-profit folks ask: what is the MOST effective action to take or way to behave to make the most impact. Nick synthesizes research from Behavioral Economics and Psychological disciplines to explain how humans act (both rationally and irrationally) to information and other people. If you really want help animals today and into the future and want to make your demonstrations, letters, outreach, leafleting, fundraising, or blogging more effective and meaningful, pick up this book.

Lifelong Activist Book CoverThe Lifelong Activist: How to Change the World Without Losing Your Way by Hillary Rettig (Nov 15, 2006). This book is for those of you who are getting worn down or discouraged AND for those of you just getting started. Be proactive about your own psychological and emotional health and learn about managing your mission, your fears, and your relationships with others. Don’t let burn out end your efforts to change the world. The world needs you. The animals need you. We need you!

And some even better news: if you life in the Seattle area, can you check out the first two books, for free, from the Vegan Haven lending library (call ahead to see if they are available, they are popular titles). All three are available through the Seattle Public Library system, but are often checked out, so reserve a copy soon! If you want to have your very own copy, so you can write notes and keep them handy, have Left Bank Books, Elliot Bay Book Co, or Vegan Haven order you a copy.

Already read these three? Here are some other titles to consider for your bedside table. Tell us what you think of them or recommend some others for us on Facebook!

  • The Animal Activist’s Handbook: Maximizing Our Positive Impact in Today’s World (2009)
  • For the Prevention of Cruelty: The History and Legacy of Animal Rights Activism in the United States (2006)
  • Muzzling a Movement: The Effects of Anti-Terrorism Law, Money, and Politics on Animal Activism (2010)
  • Defiant Daughters: 21 Women on Art, Activism, Animals, and the Sexual Politics of Meat (2013)
  • Strategic Action for Animals: A Handbook on Strategic Movement Building, Organizing, and Activism for Animal Liberation (2008)
  • How to Change the World in 30 Seconds: A Web Warrior’s Guide to Animal Advocacy Online (2013)

“Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

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You Are An Agent of History

The Bad News:

We humans systematically breed, torture, and brutally kill billions of animals each year for pleasure. We do unspeakable things to our fellow earthlings – creatures with physical and emotional needs similar to ours. Most people’s eyes, hearts, and minds are closed to these horrors. Most of us are complicit and literally pay others to do these atrocious deeds to animals. It is happening right now as you read this. Millions are in pain, suffering, dying without hope in crates, shackles, cages, and boxes all over the world. 98% of human society finds this is acceptable.

The Good News:

Things change. Just in the past 5 years the blinders have started to fall, people from all backgrounds around the world have been moving in droves to a more compassionate and reasonable lifestyle. People have taken to the streets in Italy, Cork, Syracuse, Turkey, and of course, Seattle to speak out for those who can’t speak for themselves. Almost every week you hear of a new influential person who is trying veganism. There are more positive sentiments online around veganism than there are negative. The tide is very slowly turning.

 

What Matters:

Things don’t change without us. We are the problem and the solution. The animals in cages today, and their offspring for generations to come, are counting on YOU AND ME to help them, to do something. There is no magical group working working for their rights and freedom except us. You, me, your mom, you weird cousin, that guy holding a sign by himself in the rain outside the UW Primate Testing Facility. We are their hope. If we don’t tell people what is happening to animals, hearts will remain hard and closed. If we don’t work to change things, they won’t change. The suffering will continue unabated. If we chose being popular over fighting injustice, then we should all despair.

|| OBSERVE || PUBLIC OPINIONS || Animal Rights Protest March || Dame Street || Dublin || Republic of Ireland ||

So What? You matter. Right now, decide to use your talents, energy, and love to work to evolve the human race. Join the groups that will push society into a saner, kinder, and more sustainable future. By helping to open others’ hearts and minds, you’ll open cages. Every animal counts. Every cage matters. The way we are in the world is the root of evil, and we must strike at the roots.

Being vegan means you’ll be on the right side of history. But being an activist means you are an agent of history.

If you aren’t sure how to get started, come to the next NARN open meeting January 13.

 

“It does not take a majority to prevail … but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” – Samuel Adams

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