All posts by Jean

Come to Animal Activism 101

Last year’s Animal Activism 101 workshop was such a hit, we’re doing it again!

If you’re new to activism, this is a great chance to learn about how to pick the right activities for your skills, strengths, and interests and how to actually get started.

If you’ve done some activism, but are new to the scene, we’ll share some tips, tricks, and best practices not only from NARN, but from other activists around the world.

We’ll talk about tabling, leafleting, demonstrations, writing, online activism, corporate campaigning, and using your unique talents and interests in making the world a better place for animals.

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

We want to build a strong community of NW vegans and animal activists. Let’s 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!AR101

Sunday, February 9th, 2014
12:30 – 3:30 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 many snacks to bring. If you want to bring something to share, please let us know.

This is a FREE event.

To spend one’s life being angry, and in the process doing nothing to change it, is to me ridiculous. I could be mad all day long, but if I’m not doing a damn thing, what difference does it make?” ― Charles Fuller

Speak up for animals in labs

Have you read the Herald’s article, Inside the Monkey Lab? It’s about SNLB, an animal research facility in Everett, WA, and it’s terribly one-sided.

Please write to Peter Jackson (pjackson@heraldnet.com), the editorial page editor, and tell him the article was not fair or balanced. You can also add your comments at the bottom of the article, but a letter to the editor will have more impact. For talking points on why we don’t need animal testing, here’s some info:

Animal testing is bad science, based on outdated ideas, and it’s a money-making racket. Researchers applying for grants, can secure more money when they use animals in their experiments. And Mark Crane, the SNLB VP interviewed in the article said his company breeds and sells research monkeys to other labs for about $3,500 each. It’s big business. Careers depend on it.

If animals are so different from us (different enough for us to justify experimenting on), it also means they’re too different to gather relevant, conclusive evidence drawing of a monkey being operated onthat would apply to us. If they’re similar enough that the experiments would actually be useful and relevant, then they’re just like us and it’s unethical to test on them. Either way, it’s wrong.

The cost of experimenting on animals is high and the benefits are minimal. Non-animal testing is usually cheaper and more accurate than animal tests, which can be unreliable. Animal tests are misleading because they’re not good at showing how humans will respond.

With animal testing, illness is induced, and then a cure is sought. That’s an unrealistic and unnatural environment and doesn’t translate well to humans. According to the AAVS, nine out of ten drugs that appear promising in animal studies go on to fail in human clinical trials.

For example, the polio vaccine was delayed by decades because of animal testing. Monkeys respond differently to the virus. Penicillin almost didn’t see the light of day because it was ineffective on rabbits (and killed guinea pigs). It wasn’t until Alexander Fleming gave it to a dying patient (as a last-ditch effort) and she recovered that it was proven acceptable for human use.

Thalidomide, a drug used in the 1950s to treat morning sickness, was proven harmless in dogs, cats, rabbits, monkeys, and rats, and was cleared for human use. It wasn’t until over 10,000 children were born with severe birth defects that it was pulled from the market. Animal tests didn’t warn us.

More recently, Vioxx, a painkiller for people with arthritis, was taken off the market after it caused up to 320,000 heart attacks and strokes. The drug was tested on animals but those tests never revealed the danger to people.

We have the technology to use alternatives to animal tests–and there are many! We have mathematic and in silico (computer models), genomic tests, in vitro (test tube) on human cell cultures, and medical imaging.

Victory for Canada geese!

Washington State Parks recently confirmed that they will not be killing Canada geese in any state parks in 2014!

canada geese

Last spring, we reported that geese were rounded up and gassed in Sammamish State Park. For 2014, State Parks Resource Manager Andrew Fielding said they’ll be using non-lethal methods instead, such as:

  • Using remote devices like air boats to deter geese
  • Bringing in trained dogs handled by volunteers to scare geese away
  • Modifying the landscape to make it less appealing to the geese
  • Adding fencing (like snow fencing) to keep geese away
  • Installing predator cut-outs to scare off the geese
  • Improving signs to let people know they shouldn’t feed the geese
  • Enforcing rules that prohibit feeding wildlife
  • Sharing information through local inter-agency agreements

The Parks Department will focus on Lake Sammamish because it’s in an urban area and has a large number of Canada geese.

This effort was a collaboration with a lot of groups. Action for Animals spread the word, NARN did, and so did In Defense of Animals. But one person, Diane Weinstein, took the lead, talked to officials, and got the issue to the top of their agenda. It shows that it takes just one person to make an impact and get the ball rolling.

And when an issue gains momentum, there’s no stopping it!

So thanks to Diane, AFA, IDA, and all the individuals who called, emailed, and spread the word.

Keep fighting for animals!

Tell Southwest Airlines to cut ties with SeaWorld

Southwest Airlines is renewing its commitment to promote SeaWorld, claiming its relationship with SeaWorld is about “bringing families together.”

Conversely, SeaWorld is all about tearing marine mammal families apart. For a glimpse into how they operate, check out the official page for the documentary, Blackfish (you can watch the full movie on Netflix).

SOUTHWEST_AIRLINES

PETA has reached out to Southwest Airlines, but the company isn’t listening. Now it’s your turn to tell Southwest how you feel.

Please politely urge Southwest Airlines to sever its partnership with SeaWorld. You can contact them on their web form.

Let your friends and family know as well so we can be a loud voice for orcas and other animals in captivity.

Animal Welfare Bills in the 2014 Washington State Legislature

Fighting for animals is often an uphill battle. Animals don’t usually get a lot of respect of attention in the legislature. That’s why it’s important to let your state reps know that animals matter!

For the 2014 session, several animal-related bills will be brought before the legislature.

SB 5202 Companion Animal Spay/Neuter Assistance. This is a follow-up of the substitute spay/neuter bill that passed the senate in 2013. The substitute bill doesn’t include the original pet-food fee funding source, but it does provide the basic outline of a statewide spay/neuter assistance program. The bill will need to be reconsidered in the senate before it can proceed to the house.

SB 5203 Limiting Sales of Animals in Public Places. This bill would restrict certain sales of animals in public places, such as roadside sales. A draft substitute bill, that improves the original bill introduced in 2013, is currently being prepared .

SB 5204 Animal Cruelty Prevention. This bill covers several issues. It tightens up the animal fighting law, addresses animals confined in vehicles and other spaces during extreme temperatures, and cleans up the definition of second-degree animal cruelty. A draft substitute bill has already been prepared, which includes a new provision to correct weaknesses in the first-degree animal cruelty statute.

HB 2117 Breed Based Dog Regulations. More than two dozen cities in this state have breed-based bans. The bans place restrictions on certain breeds (usually pit bulls). In the 2014 session, a bill is being introduced that, if passed, would prevent a dog’s breed from being a factor in a ban or in classifying him or her as dangerous or potentially dangerous. Read more about how you can help bring pass this bill here.

Washington_State_Capitol_Legislative_Building

Thanks to Save Washington Pets (Washington Alliance for Humane Legislation) for the info about these bills.

Action Alert for HB 2117: Breed-based dog regulations

Here in Washington State, more than two dozen cities have breed-based bans in place. The bans place restrictions on certain breeds (usually pit bulls). In the 2014 session, HB 2117 (Breed-Based Dog Regulations) is being introduced. This bill would prevent a dog’s breed from being a factor in a ban or in classifying him or her as dangerous or potentially dangerous. The bill’s sponsor is Rep. Sherry Appleton.

Contact Your State Representatives!

All members of the Washington State House of Representatives have until 2 pm on January 13 to sign on as cosponsors of the bill. Please contact your two state reps today or tomorrow and encourage them to sign on and support this bill.

You can find your reps here and you can find their phone numbers here. If you can’t call, or would rather email, here’s a template by Best Friends Animal Society.

Please offer a brief, polite message with your full name, address and phone number, asking your rep to cosponsor HB 2117, a bill that addresses dog breed discrimination, and explain why it’s important to you.American pit bull terrier

Thanks to Save Washington Pets for the information about this bill.

Signature Gathering for Meatless Mondays

When: Saturday, January 11th @ 10:00am – 1:00pm
Where: University District Farmers Market
(on University Way NE between NE 50th St and NE 52nd St.)
(map)

Seattle is fortunate to be home to one of the new offices of The Humane League, a national Animal Rights Organization. One of their main focuses in Seattle is to get the Seattle School District to implement Meatless Mondays. YOU can help make this happen by helping to gather signatures for support of Meatless Mondays at the University District Farmers Market on Saturday, Jan 11th from 10am – 1pm.

If you can help, please contact Rachel at rachelhw@thehumaneleague.com

Humane Lobby Day

When: Thursday, January 30th @ 8:30am – 4:00pm
Where: Department of Enterprise Services Auditorium
1500 Jefferson St. SE (Olympia, WA)
(map)

Washington’s animal advocates will soon fill the halls of the Washington State Department of Enterprise Services in Olympia for Humane Lobby Day 2014. You can be in on this exciting action, too! Join your HSUS state director Dan Paul for one day that can make all the difference for animals.

Don’t worry if you’re new to lobbying or are unfamiliar with the issues. What’s important is that you’re there. We’ll be there with you every step of the way.

What is Humane Lobby Day? It’s a one-day event in your state where you can meet with your elected officials and their staff about animal protection issues in Washington.

Why is your participation in Lobby Day so critical? We know legislators are most motivated when their constituents take time to meet face-to-face. It’s your chance to show how much animals mean to you.

Reserve your spot now for Humane Lobby Day 2014! Dan Paul is happy to help with additional questions: dpaul@humanesociety.org.

If you’d like to attend this event you can RSVP online.

A vegan new year

The new year is a time to celebrate with loved ones, to start fresh, and to make resolutions.

If you’re already a vegan, now is a great time to make a resolution to stay vegan and perhaps add something extra to your vegan journey. Join NARN, start (or attend) a vegan supper club and meet other vegans, raise funds for an animal organization, or maybe step out of your comfort zone and get involved with activism. The NARN calendar on our home page has all our upcoming events on it, including social nights and fundraisers, as well as demos and leafleting events.

If you’re not vegan yet, try it for a month. Veganuary.com is a great place to start. You can also look on Amazon.com for vegan cookbooks like How it all Vegan and The China Study Cookbook. Websites like the Post Punk Kitchen or Engine 2 Diet are great resources, and a web search will result in a ton of links to vegan recipes. cookbooks

You might find being vegan is fun, easier than you thought, and makes you feel good about your health and all the animals your not eating. On a trial run, take the time to read about the plight of animals. Often, the easiest time to learn about what animals endure for our taste buds is when you’re not partaking in them. No guilt. No excuses. Just learn and be the change.

If you need help, here’s a link to a previous post about how to transition into veganism. And you’re always welcome to take part in NARN’s vegan mentor program.

The future is vegan! Happy New Year!

Help stop wolves and coyotes from being killed

Stop the December 28-29 Salmod, Idaho Coyote and Wolf “Derby”

Please join Project Coyote in protest of an indefensible coyote and wolf killing “derby,” ironically scheduled on the 40th anniversary of the passage of the Endangered Species Act, our nation’s safety-net for wildlife, that brought wolves back from the brink of extinction. It is imperative that everyone speak out against this atrocity scheduled in less than two weeks. Time is critical.

Sign the petition here

Predator derbies are a shame to this great nation. We made a mistake with wolves before and now we are doing it again. Have we learned nothing from our past? Don’t let a small minority decide the fate of America’s wild predators.

Please contact the following individuals to voice your opposition:

Idaho Department of Fish & Game
Virgil Moore, Director
600 S. Walnut, Boise, ID 83720
(208) 334-2920
Email: virgil.moore@idfg.idaho.gov
http://gov.idaho.gov/ourgov/contact.html

Idaho Department of Fish & Game
Will Naillon, Salmon Region IDFG Commissioner
Email: willnaillon@gmail.com

Idaho Fish and Game Commission
Bob Barowsky, Chairman
Email: bbarowsky@fmtc.com

Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter
P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720
(208) 334-2100
Email: governor@gov.idaho.gov

Salmon Valley Chamber of Commerce
Charleane Hermosillo, Executive Director
Phone: (800) 727-2540 or (208) 756-2100
Email: svcc1@centurytel.net

Idaho Outfitters & Guides Association, Boise
John May, Executive Director
Phone: (208) 342-1438
Email: john@koga.org

IOGA represents all outfitters in the state of Idaho. If you use Idaho outfitters for white water rafting, camping, backcountry skiing – please mention this and urge IOGA to speak out against having their members participate in a predator killing contest.

Shane McAfee
Idaho For Wildlife
Salmon Idaho Chapter Chairman
shane@castlecreekoutfitters.com
phone (208) 756-2548

Visit the Idaho For Wildlife website

poster c/o All Creatures
click to enlarge to read all the horrifying details...

Information/Talking points

Specific details about the contest hunt:

What: “1st Annual 2-Day Coyote & Wolf Derby” brough to you by Idaho for Wildlife, Salmon Chapter, Sportsman Group
Where: Salmon, Idaho
When: Dec. 28th & 29th, 2013

Wolf Coyote Derby Salmon Idaho Dec.2013

A wolf tag can be purchased for as little as $11.75, permitting each hunter to shoot 4 to 10 wolves (depending on region). 154 wolves have been killed in Idaho since hunting season opened on August 30th. Idaho is showing the nation what happens to wolves following the removal of federal protections under the Endangered Species Act.

This is not hunting but a gratuitous massacre that is legal in Idaho and across the country. Prizes will be offered to contestants who kill the largest wolf and the most female coyotes. Children as young as 10 are encouraged to compete, with prizes being offered to youth from the ages of 10-14.

These competitions are ethically indefensible and ecologically reckless, as well as a public safety risk, as shooters fan out across the landscape, trying to shoot large numbers of coyotes and wolves.

Action Alert from All-Creatures.org
Press release info from Alan Brown, Change.org and Dave Parsons, Project Coyote