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

 

Sea otters victorious in decades-long struggle with U.S. government
The long war between otters and the U.S. federal government is finally over, and the otters have won.  The Los Angeles Times reports that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has abandoned its plan to relocate otters from coastal waters reserved for commercial fisherman.  For the past 25 years, the government agency had been working to relocate the otters, but was finally forced to admit the program had been a failure.

 

Seizures of Illegal Ivory Are Rising in Hong Kong
Customs officials in Hong Kong announced on Friday their third large seizure of smuggled ivory in less than three months, saying they had intercepted 779 elephant tusks weighing 2,900 pounds in a container originating from Kenya. Demand from an increasingly affluent Asia and improved international trade and transport links have caused the trade in ivory and other wildlife products to soar in recent years, pushing many species to the brink. At the same time, enforcement and penalties remain weak in many countries, constituting little deterrent to smugglers and poachers, conservationists say.

 

Alarming sight: thousands of shark fins drying on Hong Kong rooftop
The number of shark fins set out to dry like the morning laundry on a Hong Kong factory building rooftop is staggering. To look at the accompanying images and video, revealing perhaps 10,000 fins, and to grasp that sharks are being slaughtered at a furious pace so their fins can be used to make soup, one cannot help but wonder how many years will pass before at least some shark species are banished to extinction.

 

136 pets left unclaimed after Sandy face uncertain future.
The New York City shelter housing 280 pets displaced by Superstorm Sandy must shut down and, with nearly half the animals still unclaimed, cannot rule out euthanizing any left behind. An uncertain future lies ahead for 52 cats and 84 dogs who remain in the Brooklyn emergency boarding facility run by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, spokeswoman Kelly Krause said on Thursday.

 
Animal cruelty a key in later violent behavior
Can we predict who will abuse animals and who might commit heinous crimes, including mass murder? Quite possibly. Researchers feel confident that animal abuse is an early indicator of future violence toward other humans. For example, in a study of 314 inmates published in the journal Child Abuse & Neglect (1997), University of Iowa professors Karla Miller and John Knutson found that a high percentage of the subjects charged with violent crimes, including murder, initially engaged in various types of animal cruelty.


Vegan’s religious accommodation case can proceed
A federal district court in Cincinnati has refused to dismiss a case in which a hospital customer service representative who was fired for refusing to get a flu shot contended she was entitled to religious accommodation because of her veganism.

 

Smithfield progresses toward transition away from gestation crates
Pork producer Smithfield Foods announced its progress in 2012 toward ending the practice of keeping pregnant sows in small metal crates on Thursday.  Company owned hog-raising facilities in the U.S. are 38 percent converted from the gestation stalls to group housing, according to a news release, which puts Smithfield on pace for being fully switched over by 2017. The company also said its international operations in Mexico and Europe would be fully converted by 2022.

 

Steve-O goes vegan
You know him as one of the stars of “Jackass” and the host of “Killer Karaoke” but now, Steve-O is speaking out on a much more serious topic. Steve-O teamed up with Farm Sanctuary in a new documentary called “What Came Before”.  The documentary, narrated by Steve-O, profiles three animals who either escaped or were rescueD from factory farms.

 

A Vegan Resolution
If one of your goals for 2013 is more healthful eating, the Recipes for Health columnist Martha Rose Shulman can get you started. She has proposed five delicious vegan meals for the New Year that may also save you some money.

 
The 30-Day Vegan Challenge
Did you consume more than your fair share of turkey, roast beef and spiral ham this holiday season? Perhaps it’s time to consider The Thirty-Day Vegan Challenge, a multimedia online program, created by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, featuring written, audio and video content to give you everything you need to jumpstart your body back into action.

 

Animal rights advocate claims horses mistreated on cancelled HBO series ‘Luck’
Barbara Casey’s lawsuit filed Monday in Los Angeles claims underweight, sick and drugged horses were used to film the series focused on the horse racing industry.  The series starring Dustin Hoffman was cancelled in March after four horses died while in production.  Casey was working for the American Humane Association overseeing the well-being of the horses and says she was wrongfully fired after complaining about inhumane conditions on the show.

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Action Alerts

Take Action to Put Animals Back in the Animal Welfare Act!

Please contact your legislators today to ask them to co-sponsor HR 6693 oo put animals back in the Animal Welfare Act.

Find and contact your U.S. Senators
http://www.senate.gov/

Find and contact your U.S. Representative
http://www.house.gov/

TALKING POINTS

The Animal Welfare Act currently fails to protect 95% of all animals used in research and testing. This undermines the purpose of the law: to provide humane treatment for these animals. In 2002 a rider to the Farm Bill removed protections for rats, mice, and birds, subjecting them to poorly conducted animal research without sufficient review.

Working with ALDF, U.S. House Representative Gerald Connolly (D-VA) has introduced a bill (HR 6693) that restores coverage for rats, mice, and birds under the AWA. Cosponsored by Representative Sam Farr (D-CA), the bill will:

Fix the massive carve-out of 95 percent of animals in research. Rats, mice, and birds compose 95 percent of the animals used in research. Restoring their protections will help fulfill the purpose for which the AWA was designed.
Fit the commonsense definition of animal. The AWA currently does not define rats, mice, and birds as “animals.”
Protect sentient beings from laboratory abuse. Without AWA oversight, many rats, mice, and birds suffer unnecessarily from shoddy experiments and research practices. For example, a USDA inspector discovered a rat dying in a University of Hawaii freezer, yet could not enforce this “egregious lack of humane care” because rats are not protected.
Provide researchers and the country long-term economic benefit. By putting researchers in a system of pre-experiment review, AWA coverage of rats, mice, and birds will eliminate poorly conducted scientific experiments and testing. Such review will improve science, bolster the economy in the long-term, and stop taxpayers from funding wasteful research.
Create minimal impact on the USDA and industry. Oversight from USDA will provide sweeping animal welfare benefits at little cost. Regulatory infrastructure has existed for years and will easily transition into oversight.

 

Stop Yellowstone’s Plans to Slaughter Buffalo
Tell Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk that you absolutely oppose any capture or slaughter of wild buffalo. Yellowstone is mandated by law to protect wild bison, not cater to Montana’s cattle politics. Tell Superintendent Wenk to stop being a puppet for Montana livestock interests, pull out of the draconian Interagency Bison Management Plan, and to stand up for the wildlife that the American people have placed in his care.
Wild bison are a natural, national treasure, the prehistoric and rightful roamers of North America, and we will not stand by and allow Yellowstone or Montana’s cattle industry to jeopardize their future for any reason. Sadly, three Buffalo were killed on Christmas morning.

Contact:

Daniel Wenk, Superintendent
Yellowstone National Park
P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168
(307) 344-2002 phone
(307) 344-2014 fax
Dan_Wenk@nps.gov

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News of Note

 

Editorial: Protecting Seattle’s aging elephants
 Many zoos have closed, are ending or discussing closure of their elephant exhibits.  Let Chai, Watoto and Bamboo spend the rest of their lives in open space with three new Canadian friends, Thika, Toka and Iringa.

 

To Save Wildlife, and Tourism, Kenyans Take Up Arms
Many jobs in the safari industry can pay as much as poaching. Though the ivory trade may seem lucrative, it is often like the Somali pirate business model, with the entry-level hijacker getting just a minuscule cut of the million-dollar ransoms. While a pound of ivory can fetch $1,000 on the streets of Beijing, Mr. Lokinyi, despite his lengthy poaching résumé, was broke, making it easier to lure him out of the business.  Villagers are also turning against poachers because the illegal wildlife trade fuels crime, corruption, instability and intercommunal fighting.

 

Sudden Death of Show Pony Clouds Image of Elite Pursuit
Since 2010, random drug tests at various equestrian events, including the Olympic trials, have uncovered dozens of violations for substances like cocaine, antipsychotics, tranquilizers and pain medication — even ginger placed in a horse’s anus to make its tail stick out.  While show-horse trainers have abused some of the same drugs that have caused problems in racing, the Equestrian Federation has lagged behind in regulating how they are administered. Now, the circumstances surrounding Humble’s death have become a rallying point for those who believe that the federation should more aggressively investigate drug use.


Israel Supports Animal Rights With Ban Against Cosmetics, Cleaning Materials Testing
Perhaps it was the dark, Jewish experience of the Holocaust where Nazis would use Jewish children for medical tests. Or simply the humanitarian heart that Israel is respected for with its medical and rescue aid teams which assist disaster victims from Haiti to Japan. As of today, the sale and import of cosmetics and cleaning materials tested on animals will be illegal in Israel. The Israel Health Ministry said it would investigate and prosecute importers who violate the new law.

 

Pennsylvania’s Dog Law Enforcement Office Cracking Down On Illegal Dog-Breeding Kennels
The Pennsylvania Agriculture Department says it has taken action against 37 illegal dog-breeding kennels, this year, including several in the Philadelphia area.  The department says it has stepped up efforts to enforce the 2009 anti-puppy-mill law.

The Year In Vegan!
Happy last Meatless Monday of the Year! Since it’s the last day of the year, I thought it’d be nice to do a little round-up of animal victories from the year. Additionally, I know many people use the New Year as a time to try new things–say veganism, perhaps? Come on, Ne-Yo is doing it! So we can also take a look at some tips for kicking off a vegan lifestyle. Shall we? Oh let’s do!

 

Pet chicken saves family from fire
Cluck Cluck’s noisy calls from two floors below woke a Wisconsin couple in time for them to escape their burning house. The chicken became the Murawska family pet after wandering over from a neighboring farm; instead of killing the bird, who wasn’t producing eggs, the couple built her a coop and brought her inside when the weather got too cold. “I spent way more money than I ever should’ve. I guess it paid off,” Dennis Murawska said. Along with the couple, the chicken and a cat survived the blaze.

 

Going Vegan Doesn’t Mean Missing Out On Favorites
In the first of a two-part series on veganism, Renee Montagne talks to health and wellness expert Kathy Freston about the benefits and challenges of being vegan. Vegans enjoy a plant-based diet and don’t eat meat, fish or dairy. Freston says as a vegan you can still have comfort food, it’s just a healthier version of what you used to eat.

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Action Alerts

Tell Nordstrom to Stop Selling Fur

1) Visit the website of Nordstrom Downtown Seattle at http://shop.nordstrom.com/st/nordstrom-downtown-seattle and scroll down to click on “Tell Us What You Think” — then fill in the comment box to ask them to stop selling fur!
2) Please sign this online petition and share with your friends: https://www.change.org/petitions/nordstrom-stop-selling-all-animal-fur-3
3) Please print out this letter, sign, and mail it to Nordstrom: http://afa-online.org/NordstromLetter.pdf Or better yet, use the letter as a template for your own personalized letter. Please do this in addition to signing the petition! Paper letters carry much more weight than petitions or emails, especially these days.

 

Tell Target to Stop Selling Rabbit Fur

Please call 1-800-591-3869, and tell Target to stop selling rabbit fur. And please don’t shop there until they stop!

 

Stop Horse Slaughter in Snohomish County

Due to changes in a federal policy, a horse slaughterhouse in Stanwood, WA could re-open. On December 19, the Snohomish Country Council will be considering a ban on horse slaughter, which would prevent that slaughterhouse as well as any others from operating in Snohomish County.

Read The Herald’s article about the proposed ban here: http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20121204/news01/712049937

Then please visit http://www.change.org/petitions/snohomish-county-council-members-pass-ordinance-no-12-106-to-ban-the-slaughter-of-horses to sign our petition to ask the council members to pass the ban. Then please forward this link to friends and family to ask them to sign as well!

Thank you for caring about horses! And please show that you care about all of the animals whose lives end horrifically in slaughterhouses, by living vegan!

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News of Note

 Task force to take closer look at Woodland Park’s elephants
Woodland Park Zoo’s elephant exhibit will be scrutinized by a panel of experts as part of a task force requested by Seattle City Council members who said they are concerned about the welfare and future of the zoo’s three aging elephants.

 

Doug Spink, Accused of Operating Sumas Bestiality Farm, Faces Animal Cruelty Charges At Long Last
By the sound of it, Douglas Spink, a man who once made a fortune selling fitness catalogues to gyms, didn’t think he’d have to worry about animal cruelty charges in Whatcom County.  This, despite the fact law enforcement there had collected piles of evidence to suggest he operated a bizarre bestiality farm out of Sumas, Wash, and has already convicted and deported one man because of it.

 

Constitutionality of Ohio’s new dangerous animal law challenged in court
The law bans ownership of certain dangerous animals as of January 2014. The deadline for owners to register their animals, with microchips, was Nov. 5, 2012. Further steps are required to maintain possession of the animals in 2014 and beyond.  The animal owners say the law is unconstitutional because it violates their property ownership rights. Under the new law, the state can seize an animal if it is not properly registered with a microchip.


Animal rights inroads
The top lobbyist for the National Turkey Federation thinks national standards for egg-laying cages won’t make it into a multi-year farm bill, and similar efforts may be “running out of steam.”  Damon Wells spoke at the North Dakota Poultry Industries convention in Fargo, N.D., on Dec. 13 and said he doesn’t see production mandates making it into the federal farm bill, currently stuck in Congress.  Wells said the “precedent-setting” of the farm bill cage restriction proposals is not likely to re-emerge. The proposals didn’t make it into either Senate or House versions of the bill.


America’s Milk Business in a ‘Crisis’
In an age of vitamin waters and energy drinks, the decadeslong decline in U.S. milk consumption has accelerated, worrying dairy farmers, milk processors and grocery chains.  The industry “is coming to recognize this as a crisis,” says Tom Gallagher, CEO of Dairy Management Inc., a farmer-funded trade group that promotes milk products. “We cannot simply assume that we will always have a market.” Per-capita U.S. milk consumption, which peaked around World War II, has fallen almost 30% since 1975

 

Poaching is a national security issue, WWF study finds
Poaching of wild animals for ivory, horns, skins and other parts has been a dangerous business for animals for decades, but it’s evolved into a security threat as well, according to a WWF report. Elaborate criminal syndicates that protect and augment the trade have developed, the report found. “It is one thing to be worried about the traditional poachers who come in and kill and take a few animals, a few tusks, a few horns or other animal parts,” said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “It’s something else when you’ve got helicopters, night vision goggles, automatic weapons, which pose a threat to human life as well as wildlife.”

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Action Alerts

Tell Nordstroms to Stop Selling Fur

1) Visit the website of Nordstrom Bellevue Square at
http://shop.nordstrom.com/st/nordstrom-bellevue-square
and scroll down to click on “Tell Us What You Think” — then fill in the comment box to ask them to stop selling fur!
2) Please sign this online petition and share with your friends:
https://www.change.org/petitions/nordstrom-stop-selling-all-animal-fur-3
3) Please print out this letter, sign, and mail it to Nordstrom: http://afa-online.org/NordstromLetter.pdf Or better yet, use the letter as a template for your own personalized letter. Please do this in addition to signing the petition! Paper letters carry much more weight than petitions or emails, especially these days.

 
Elephants at Woodland Park Zoo Need Your Help!

Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants have advocated for the retirement of Bamboo, Chai and Watoto, the elephants living on display at Woodland Park Zoo, to a sanctuary.

 Sadly, the Zoo “owns” the elephants and only public pressure will help save the elephants from dying at WPZ.

Let them know you are disturbed that WPZ allows Bamboo, Chai and Watoto to suffer in an environment that directly harms their physical and psychological health and you want immediate actions taken to improve their conditions while working for retirement at a sanctuary. 

 WPZ receives more than $10 million from Seattle and King county tax payers every year yet claims: “we do not have a record that gives the cost of housing or caring for the elephants”.  Ask the City and County Councils to take control over the elephants’ welfare and WPZ’s irresponsible use of our hard earned tax dollars. We want action!

 We’ve included The Seattle Times’ address so they, too, hear the outpouring of support for the elephants— as well as for the article.

 In the subject line, make sure to use a word like: elephant, zoo, Chai, Bamboo

 sally.bagshaw@seattle.gov, richard.conlin@seattle.gov, sally.clark@seattle.gov,   nick.licata@seattle.gov, bruce.harrell@seattle.gov, tim.burgess@seattle.govjean.godden@seattle.gov, mike.obrien@seattle.gov, tom.rasmussen@seattle.gov, larry.gossett@kingcounty.gov,  bob.ferguson@kingcounty.gov,  kathy.lambert@kingcounty.gov,  larry.phillips@kingcounty.gov,  julia.patterson@kingcounty.gov,  jane.hague@kingcounty.gov,  pete.vonreichbauer@kingcoounty.gov,  joe.mcdermott@kingcounty.govregan.dunn@kingcounty.gov, opinion@seattletimes.com

 While writing an e-mail is appreciated, we understand that short letters or even postcards sent via regular mail have the greatest impact – do both!!!

 Metropolitan King County Council
516 Third Ave., Rm. 1200
Seattle, WA 98104

Seattle City Council
PO Box 34025
Seattle, WA 98124-4025

 For more information, go to www.freewpzelephants.org

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