About rachel

Hi, I'm Rachel and I've been active with NARN as long as I've been vegan 13 years! I made the choice to be vegan after learning about what happens to egg laying chickens and dairy cows. I had previously been vegetarian for 7 years because I finally made the connection that beef came from cows and pork came from pigs (duh, I know). I didn't want my food choices to cause the death of an animal. It just seems like common sense to not eat animals if you care at all about animals, the earth or your fellow human beings. I became active with NARN because after I found out about the atrocities happening to animals, I felt that I had to do what I could to help stop these injustices. NARN is local, puts the animals first, and networks with other groups. We aren't worried about getting credit - just helping the animals. One of my favorite quotes is: "I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate. It is, above all to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all." ~ Leo Rosten and "Progress in every age results only from the fact that there are some men and women who refuse to believe that what they know to be right cannot be done." --Russell W. Davenport

News of Note – NYC Mayoral Candidates want to appeal to animal lovers

now if only we could get the Seattle City Council and the Mayor to care about elephants!

Mayoral Hopefuls Express Support for Animal Rights
The mayoral candidates participating in a forum on Monday on animal rights all did their best, in various ways, to prove themselves animal lovers…Animal rights have emerged recently as an unexpected tinderbox in the mayoral race, primarily around the issue of New York’s horse carriages

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Monkeys are just like us

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/26/science/science-study-shows-monkeys-pick-up-social-cues.html?_r=0

This story is a great example of not only how monkeys and humans are influenced by social cues, but of how you can do behavioral research outside of a laboratory.  The researchers learned this information, not by putting monkeys in cages, but by going to their natural habitat. 
We may not like to admit it, but as social creatures, we are highly influenced by what others do.  Why do particular food trends come and go?  Why do we wear particular styles of clothing?  Many people base their own behaviors on what’s perceived to be trendy, popular or “normal”.  When celebrities go vegan, it is a win for the animals, not just because one more person has decided to stop contributing to animal absue, but because they make being vegan more “in style”.
This study also adds to the wealth of information of how similar monkeys are to us.  What we still need to learn is an animals value shouldn’t be based upon their similarity to us, or their perceived intelligence.  Chickens, cows, pigs, etc are just as important and deserving of life as monkeys, whales, dolphins, seals, and elephants.

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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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News of Note

 

Adopting Plant-Based Meals Several Times Per Week Can Improve Food Security, Lower Food Costs
Researchers from The Miriam Hospital and the Rhode Island Community Food Bank report individuals who participated in a six-week cooking program and followed simple, plant-based recipes decreased their total food spending, purchased healthier food items and improved their food security.

 

Despite herpes concerns, St. Louis Zoo continues elephant breeding
The St. Louis Zoo is hoping for a healthy Asian elephant calf amid concerns that the animal could be born with a deadly herpes virus that already infected one of the herd…The virus has killed about 25 percent of Asian elephants born in North American zoos in the past three decades. An animal rights activist told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that it is irresponsible to breed elephants knowing the presence of the virus in the herd.

 

Oklahoma lawmakers pass horse slaughter bill
Oklahoma lawmakers approved a bill on Tuesday that will allow horses to be slaughtered in the state for human consumption in other countries.  The state Senate passed the measure in a 32-14 vote, sending it to Republican Governor Mary Fallin who is expected to sign it into law. Fallin’s office did not return requests for comment.  The bill became an emotional issue, pitting the United States Humane Society and animal rights activists against livestock interests led by the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, the state’s largest farm organization.

 

Livestock abuse: The peril of ‘ag-gag’ bills
A California Assembly bill that would require anyone who videotapes, photographs or records incidents of animal cruelty to turn over the evidence to authorities within 48 hours — or be charged with an infraction of the law — sounds like a tough new measure to crack down on abuse. It’s not.

 

A Tiger, a Truck Stop and a Pitched Legal Battle
Tony is only the latest in a line of tigers to live here. Thirteen cubs were born at the truck stop, and several adult tigers brought in, including a white tiger named Salena who died of pancreatic cancer in the early 2000s and is now stuffed and sitting in the Tiger Cafe atop the salad bar.

 
A Conversation with Karol Orzechowski the Director of the film Maximum Tolerated Dose
Maximum Tolerated Dose is a feature-length documentary described as, “a look inside modern animal experimentation with the animals who lived through it and the people who walked away.” This award-winning creation is equal parts beautiful, haunting, and novel in its approach to the topic. HRC is pleased to present an insightful conversation with the film’s director Karol Orzechowski on the role the film plays in our social movement, the importance of profiling individual stories, and lessons learned for advocates.

 

Hey Vegans! There May Be Fish Bladder in Your Guinness
Isinglass, a gelatine-like substance made from the air-bladders or sounds of fish like the sturgeon is added to cask beers like Guinness to help any remaining yeast and solid particles settle out of the final product. As the finings pass through the beer, they attract themselves to particles in the fermented beer that create an unwanted “haziness” in the final product and form into a jelly-like mass that settles to the bottom of the cask. While beer left untouched will clear on its own, isinglass speeds up the process and doesn’t affect the final flavor of the beer once removed.

 

Diary of a one-month vegan
The month-long vegan experiment — wherein I, my fiancé, and two friends try to strip all animal products from our diets (for several reasons, primary among them “just to see what it’s like”)

 

 

 

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Action Alerts

Help Lucky the Only Elephant at the San Antonio Zoo

Lucky elephant San Antonio ZooFollowing the death of the elephant Queenie, In Defense of Animals (IDA) is calling on the San Antonio Zoo to retire the one surviving elephant at the zoo, and permanently close its elephant exhibit.
The zoo euthanized Queenie on March 10th, reportedly due to a health problem. This leaves Lucky, a 53-year-old female Asian elephant, alone once again. Lucky had lived alone prior to Queenie’s arrival, following the death of another elephant.
Please write brief, polite letters to the zoo’s director, Steve McCusker, and the Mayor of San Antonio.
Ask Mr. McCusker to act in Lucky’s best interests before it’s too late. Urge him to make the compassionate decision to retire Lucky to a spacious, natural-habitat environment where she can live her remaining years in the company of other elephants.

Mr. Steve McCusker, Executive Director
San Antonio Zoo
3903 N. St. Mary’s Street
San Antonio, TX 78212-3199
phone (210) 734-7184
fax (210) 734-7291
mccusker@sazoo.org
If your email directed to Mr. McCusker is returned, please resend to:
information@sazoo.org

Urge Mayor Castro to exert his influence over the San Antonio Zoo to persuade the zoo to take immediate action to ensure that Lucky is sent to a more appropriate environment that can better address her needs. After more than five decades at the zoo, Lucky deserves to be retired to a spacious, natural-habitat environment in the company of other elephants.

Mayor Julián Castro
P.O. Box 839966
San Antonio, TX 78283
phone: 210) 207-7060
fax: (210) 207-4168
mayorjuliancastro@sanantonio.gov

 

 

Shark Dies During Filming of an Ad for Kmart
Though the American Humane Association (AHA) certified the shoot and had a representative present, the shark showed signs of stress as actors jumped in and out of the pool where the shark was being held. Despite receiving adrenaline injections and oxygen, the shark died after being removed from the outdoor pool.
Kmart reportedly requested another shark after the first one died; the production company refused.
Karen Rosa, Sr. Advisor for AHA’s Film & Television Unit, told Reuters, “We honestly don’t know why the animal died. It was not being mistreated. It was not being harmed.”
This is just one more tragic example of how unsuitable and dangerous a production set is for captive wild animals.
A white-tipped shark has died of apparent stress while being used to film a Kmart advertisement in Southern California. Tell Kmart to stop using wild animals in all future advertisements.

Howard Riefs
Director, Corporate Public Relations
Sears Holdings (Kmart’s parent company)
3333 Beverly Road
Hoffman Estates, IL 60179
(847) 286-8371

AND

Brian Hanover
Media Relations, Sears Holdings
Brian.Hanover@searshc.com

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Action Alerts

 

Save Washington State’s Wolves
Wolves were once native to Washington and are now making a comeback. With the return of this magnificent species, a “State Wolf Conservation and Management Plan” was developed using an extensive public process that took five years.
Two bills now pending in the Washington legislature would gut the plan and turn over wolf-management and killing authority to county officials and sheriffs who are simply not qualified to make decisions about endangered wolves.

Tell your State Senator to OPPOSE S.B. 5188 and S.B. 5193.

Find your Washington State Senator:
http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/

 
Up for a Vote Spay/Neuter and Animal Cruelty Bills – Contact your Senators & Representatives

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News of Note

 

E.U. Bans Cosmetics With Animal-Tested Ingredients
European Union regulators announced a ban Monday on the import and sale of cosmetics containing ingredients tested on animals and to pledge more efforts to push other parts of the world, like China, to accept alternatives. The ban, which will take effect immediately, “gives an important signal on the value that Europe attaches to animal welfare,” Tonio Borg, the E.U. commissioner for health and consumer policy, said in a statement.

 

Five shark species win protection against finning trade
The millions of sharks killed every year to feed the vast appetite for shark-fin soup in Asia now have greater protection, after the 178 nations at the world’s biggest wildlife summit voted to crack down on the trade.  Those fishing for oceanic whitetip, porbeagle and three species of hammerhead shark will now require strictly controlled permits to export the fins. The move is a landmark moment for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) because many previous attempts to protect marine species – including these sharks – have failed.

 

Colo. House committee delays vote on cow tail bill
The backside of Colorado’s dairy cows was the focus of a contentious debate Thursday in a state House committee, which ultimately postponed a vote on a bill that would prevent farmers from cutting cattle tails for sanitary reasons…The milk producers federation, the Humane Society of the United States, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and others have come out against tail docking because research has found it doesn’t make milk or workers safer. The groups also argue tail docking robs cows of their built-in fly swatters and causes pain.  California, Rhode Island and New Jersey have banned tail docking. Ohio will stop the practice in 2018.

 

If it’s Monday, the L.A. Unified school cafeteria is meatless
Los Angeles public schools have just gone meatless on Mondays. But unlike the Los Angeles City Council’s resolution in November that simply urges people to observe a Monday without meat, the school system really has issued an edict. It stopped serving meat on Mondays last month. Of course, students could pack turkey sandwiches from home. But the school cafeterias won’t be selling them, and that’s a good thing.


States Consider So-Called ‘Ag-Gag’ Bills
Since Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle over a century ago, going undercover has been one of the only ways to expose malpractice in agricultural and meat processing facilities. But legislation, so-called ‘ag-gag’ bills, has either passed or is being considered in about a dozen states and would explicitly outlaw undercover reporting as well as the publication of material gathered by undercover reporting.

 

Animal-rights advocates speak out against horse slaughterhouses in Oklahoma
About 100 animal-rights advocates spent Thursday at the state Capitol trying to persuade legislators that authorizing horse slaughterhouses would be a bad deal for Oklahoma.


Amid Suffering, Animal Welfare Legislation Still Far Off in China
About animals, “The question is not, ‘Can they reason?’ nor, ‘Can they talk?’ but, ‘Can they suffer?’” So wrote Jeremy Bentham, the English philosopher, more than 200 years ago.  It seems anomalous that China, the world’s second-biggest economy, lacks animal welfare legislation (other places do too, though in Asia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the Philippines have been praised for their protection laws.)

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