All posts by rachel

News of Note

New Mexico Dairy Pollution Sparks ‘Manure War’
http://tinyurl.com/ye95v3j (npr)
“The picture on many milk cartons shows cows grazing on a pasture next to a country barn and a silo — but the reality is very different.  More and more milk comes from confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), where large herds live in feedlots, awaiting their thrice-daily trip to the milking barn. A factory farm with 2,000 cows produces as much sewage as a small city, yet there’s no treatment plant.”

77 percent of European pigs are castrated without anesthetic
http://tinyurl.com/ybggwzk (eurekalert)
“The castration of pigs prevents the “boar taint” smell in the meat and allows them to contain more fat. However in practice this can be very different. Now, for the first time, a scientific team has collected information on the conditions of castration on European pigs. The main conclusion of the study, that forms part of the PIGCAS project, is that these animals are castrated directly by the livestock farmers, without anaesthetic and in some cases, without respecting the European legislation.”

Mice holding back muscular dystrophy research
http://tinyurl.com/ycwt5s7 (press release)
“Humans and mice have previously unknown and potentially critical differences in one of the genes responsible for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Biology have found that two major features of a key DMD gene are present in most mammals, including humans, but are specifically absent in mice and rats, calling into question the use of the mouse as the principal model animal for studying DMD.”

In Birthplace of Local Food, Fish Imports Take Over the Menu
http://tinyurl.com/y8kwl88 (nyt)
“San Francisco’s situation is part of a national phenomenon. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported last year that more than three-fourths of the fish Americans eat comes from other countries, mostly China. Yet the trend has special resonance around San Francisco. Robert E. Ross, executive director of the California Fisheries and Seafood Institute, a trade group, estimated that Bay Area residents eat, on average, about double the amount of fish consumed annually by most other Americans.”

Greyhounds chasing rabbit for last time in Mass
http://tinyurl.com/yctfmap (ap)
“Greyhound racing has been a form of entertainment in Massachusetts for 75 years, but not for much longer. The last card at Raynham Park is expected to be Dec. 26, and the state’s other dog track, Wonderland in Revere, stopped racing earlier in the fall.  It may, in fact, be the last time greyhounds run anywhere in New England.”

Action Alerts, News of Note & Community Events, now on the NARN Blog

The NARN Blog will now be the place to go to see Action Alerts, News of Note about Animal Issues, as well as Community Events that are either directly related to Animal Rights issues, or events that we thought might be of interest to NARN’s membership.

Keep checking the NARN Blog, or even subscribe, as it will now be updated a few times a week with News Stories and Action Alerts.  This will allow us to post items of interest in a more timely manner rather than waiting for the Weekly Email to roll out.

Out first Action Alert is from the good folks at Save Washington Pets:

Support Spay Neuter Assistance Legislation
Spay/Neuter Assistance Bill (SB 5329/HB 1406) has been proposed by Save Washington Pets, and will fund approximately 70,000 spay/neuter surgeries per year.
The bill has been sitting in the senate and house agriculture committees since hearings were held last session. These committees need to act on this bill by voting it out of committee in the 2010 session. Only then does the bill survive and have a chance to proceed toward a vote by the whole house and senate.
Take Action
Please contact your state legislator, and let them know you support the Spay/Neuter Assistance Bill (SB 5329/HB 1406).
Need to find out who your state legislators are? Here’s how to find them:
http://apps.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/Default.aspx

For talking points and more information, check out:
http://savewashingtonpets.org

Summer Vegan Outreach: Folklife, U-District Street Fair, Furry 5k

NARN President Mark distributing literature while Chuck, Rabbit, Ted and Claudine staff the NARN table

Thanks to our fabulous and dedicated activists, NARN distributed over 2,000 Veg Restaurant Guides and Gudies to Cruelty Free Living at the Folklife Festival, the U-District Street Fair and the Furry 5k benefit for Seattle Animal Shelter.

Chuck leafleting like a pro at Folklife

At the NARN table, we had signs for our free Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurant Guides and many people excitedly came to us asking: “where is that Vegan Guide?  I want the vegan restaurant guide!” It’s always nice to know we’re helping people find delicious, cruelty-free dining options in Seattle – and helping animals in turn.

Kami and Heather holding down the fort!

Other passersby were excited to see the Free Veg Starter Kits, or to have the opportunity to pick up information for their son/daughter/niece/friend that has been a vegetarian or just turned vegan. And of course, the kids always love free stickers!

Mark and Carrie risking sunburn to give info to an interested passerby while Bryan looks on

We also parted with a good number of animal services guides, particularly at the Furry 5k. What a great way to reach people who already love their companion animals! Mark also ran the course in a jersey that read “Vegan Athlete” and NARN’s logo, then carried a sign for VegSeattle through the finish!

El Presidente Mark and the NARN van

It is very rewarding to have people thank us for being out there, and to feel as though we are providing a valuable service. It’s also a lot of fun to hang out with others devoted to promoting compassion for all animals.

This weekend, the fun continues at the Fremont Fair, where NARN will have a table in front of PCC. Come say hello!

Mark and Carrie pose while Rabit tries to look inconscpicuous. Sorry Rabbit, the glasses can't hide that shirt!

Double Standard

As many of you probably heard, Dr. George Tiller, a doctor that performed late-term abortions was murdered at his church this past Sunday.

Any death is tragic, and this one also serves as a reminder of the “special” legal hurdles faced by animal rights activists. The man that shot and killed the doctor was not called a terrorist by the government or by the media, even though the action he carried out was based on his religious and philosophical views. The man is an extremist. He is part of a group that fights in behalf of the voiceless and the anti-abortionist movement as a whole professes to value all human life.

Animal rights activists are often compared to  anti-abortion activists , and we do have many similarities to the Anti-Abortionist movement. We both proclaim to value life, we both conduct protests and we have been known to label members of the opposition “murderers”.   It is worth noting however, that 4 people have been killed by anti-abortion activists, while zero people have been killed by animal rights activists.

The government however, treats us differently. If an animal rights activists commits an action in the name of Animal Liberation, we are automatically labelled terrorists. Anti-abortionists are not. They are only prosecuted based on their crime, not on their ethical, religious or philosophical views. The man that murdered Dr. Tiller will be charged with murder, not terrorism.  He will not be tried in Federal Court, and it is unlikely that he will receive a special sentence.

This double-standard treatment is unfair, but this should be nothing new to us.  Animal rights activists are fighting against unequal standards every day. Dogs are given more protection that pigs, cows more protection that chickens. Any cute animal has more advocates that the less visually appealing. We should not let the injustice that we face at the hands of the legal system deter us.

We must keep fighting on behalf of the voiceless, for the obstacles that we face, are nothing compared to the injustices faced by the animals.