Category Archives: Activist Community

Update On the Angora Action Alert

Remember this when you feel as if nothing ever changes, and nothing you do makes any difference: after receiving more than ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND emails from people demanding that they ditch angora, huge upscale French clothing company Lacoste has just confirmed that it is removing all angora wool products from its shelves and has requested to be added to the list of retailers that do not sell angora.  The list now includes Gap (which owns Banana Republic, Old Navy and Athleta), Express, Lands’ End, QVC, French Connection, Forever 21, New Look, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, H & M, Marks & Spencer, Limited Brands, IZOD, and Eddie Bauer.

How much does it cost you to write a few lines? Five minutes, maybe. If all of those one hundred thousand people had decided a five-minute letter/email was just too much to ask of them,  if all of them had thought, “It’s OK, someone else will do it” — nothing would have changed.  And let’s not forget the phenomenal courage of the undercover investigator who visited almost a dozen rabbit farms in China and documented the horrors. China supplies 90% of the world’s angora, yet has neither humane standards for the treatment of the rabbits nor penalties for abuse.

It’s not the war, true, but it’s a battle.

 

Has Daiya Betrayed Us?

daiya

Daiya (pronounced Day-ah) Foods, Inc. has been our cheesy savior since 2008, when it was founded as a “vegan cheese company”.  Its shreds, slices, wedges, cream cheese and most recently, pizza,  have made the conversion to veganism easier for a lot of people, as well as making the vegan version of conventional foods more familiar. Daiya is probably what most of us are thinking of when someone says, “Oh, I could never do without the cheese!” and we say, “You don’t have to!” Daiya cheese is made from cassava and arrowroot and contains no animal products. It has received multiple awards, including from VegNews and PETA. Its founders, Andre Kroecher and Greg Blake, are vegans, and the company was never been shy about using the word VEGAN.  Ethical and successful…wow.

Trouble is, for some time now non-vegan things have been sneaking in. Not that your Daiya pizza now secretly contains bacon, or that beef fat is being surreptitiously added to your cheddar shreds, but references to meat, and recipes containing meat have begun surfacing on the Daiya website and Facebook page, and a subtle verbal shift away from “vegan” (with its ethical connotations) and towards “dairy-free” (now referring to human health and food allergies) has taken place.

To begin with, this passed largely unnoticed.  However, as the news has become more widely disseminated, a growing number of vegans find this seriously offensive.  A vegan cheese company, founded by vegans, promoting recipes that contain beef, turkey, ham, fish, and eggs?  Four hundred-odd people have ‘liked’ the Boycott Daiya FB page. This does feel like a betrayal. A abolition-vs-welfare kind of betrayal. We had decided Daiya was abolitionist and they turn out to be welfarist. Or worse. Since we all know with gut-wrenching clarity that a ham roll-up or seafood salad is not … NOT… just a “food choice”.  However.

Having reached all the vegan world, was Daiya’s growth as a vegan cheese company, while little short of meteoric, pretty much limited to the growth of the number of vegans?  Would we would prefer them to remain small and ethical, rather than become huge at the expense of any compromise with suffering?  And this is where the abolition-vs-welfare thing comes in. As we know, even though about 2/3 of the human population is lactose intolerant, this does NOT stop them eating cheese.  While we are all abolitionists at heart, would we prefer they eat real cheese and get upset stomachs (yes, I know, we don’t care about that bit) or Daiya and don’t?  Isn’t every bag of Daiya shreds (which, just fyi, do not contain palm oil, although some of the other Daiya products do) bought better than a bag of real shredded cheese? As a very large and successful company, would Daiya have the power to effect more change for the better than a relatively small and insignificant one?  Is Daiya poised to become the next Silk? Just thoughts. And I haven’t finished thinking this one through yet.  For what it’s worth (likely not a whole bunch) company spokespeople profess injured innocence:

“We are sorry for offending you. That was certainly not our intention. Here at Daiya, we simply try to provide resources and recommendations (which include our many user-submitted recipes) that might appeal to the many different people who love our products.”

For more info about the boycott, visit: https://www.facebook.com/daiyahurtsanimals?fref=nf

and to tell Daiya what you think, https://www.facebook.com/daiyafoods

 

Actual monkey in a UW laboratory

Primate Liberation 2014 Seattle

Did you know that the Puget Sound area is a bastion of primate captivity, torture, poison, and death. Seattle is home to three University of Washington primate laboratories, including the nations only infant primate laboratory,  there is a primate testing breeding, importing, and consulting firm in Edmonds, and Everett is home to a third-party animal clinical trial facility that tests on primates and other non-human animals.

Primate Liberation Week is a time for us all to take pause in our lives and think about the “someones not somethings” that currently suffer scared and sick behind bars, in dark cages, experiencing heart breaking horrors in the name of science.  Please join us to speak out for our cousins, help educate the public on why animal experimentation is not good for people or animals, and hold animal abusers accountable. [N = NARN hosted event]

pics-uws-photos-03
Someone, not something. These are primates in a UW laboratory.
  • Saturday October 11, 2014: Kick-off event and Letter Writing Party with special guest speaker. 3:30-5:30 pm at the Capitol Hill branch Library. RSVP on Facebook.  [N]
  • Monday October 13, 2014: University of Washington Protest  5:00 pm – 7:00 pm at 3010 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98121 (between Space Needle and Sculpture Park).
  • Wednesday October 15, 2014 Demonstration at UW Health Science Center at NE Pacific St and NE Pacific Place. RSVP on Facebook. [N]
  • Thursday October 16, 2014: NARN Social and Letter Writing Party, 7:00-9:00 PM. Come meet other veg-friendly people while working to help primates. [N]
  • Saturday October 18, 2014  Bunny Alliance ABX/DHL Protest 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm at DHL Home Office, 2606 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121. RSVP on Facebook.

If these events don’t fit in your schedule, there are other opportunities to volunteer. We need help with volunteers to hold banners for a few mornings during the week and to help table at the UW if you are a student or have expertise in primates. Please get in touch with us.

Green Vegans Join Seattle Climate Rally

Green Vegans, based out of Seattle,  is calling for all NW area vegans to come out to the Seattle version of the worldwide People’s Climate March. Vegans everywhere are preparing for these events. Green Vegans are making  sure that climate change activists include the vegan imperative. We and ecosystems will not win on climate change without veganism.

Disruption – Official Trailer from Watch Disruption on Vimeo.

On September 21, people in villages, towns, and cities around the world will come together in a call for action. In New York alone over 750 organizations and tens of thousands of people are gathering for a rally and march there as the United Nations convenes to address climate change policy. On the same day vegans in Seattle and everywhere will join them.

Seattle People's Climate March 2014

Join other Seattle vegans and anyone who cares about the earth’s climate.  The Seattle rally will be at Westlake Plaza, downtown, Sunday, September 21, starting at 1:00 PM. There will likely be a march to a nearby location that yet to be announced All organizations, vegan and nonvegan, are encouraged to represent their own contingent with banners while individuals can bring their own signs. Check out the Green Vegan’s blog for more information!

More details and to RSVP on Act 350
RSVP on Facebook

Where do Washington State candidates stand on animal issues?

Washington Alliance for Humane Legislation/Save Washington Pets has created a handy guide listing 81 candidates and their views on animal welfare bills. Have a look at the survey results so you can help influence future legislation.

A total of 265 candidates are running for 123 open seats in the state legislature. The August 5th primary election will narrow this field of candidates to the top two contenders in each competitive race. The top two, and all candidates running unopposed, will move on to the November general election.

Before you vote in the August primary election, consider where the candidates running for office in your district stand on animal welfare issues.

Without animal-friendly candidates elected to our state legislature, it can be nearly impossible to pass legislation that supports animal welfare. It can also be very difficult to stop bills detrimental to animal welfare from becoming law.

Please take a few minutes today to review the results of the Washington Alliance for Humane Legislation survey of candidates on animal welfare issues.

The report (PDF) is here. (Please be patient when downloading the file–it’s large.) Look for responses from candidates in your legislative district. Click here to find your legislative district.

Candidates state their positions on several issues, such as:

  • Strengthening the laws defining animal cruelty.
  • Providing police and animal control officers the authority to rescue animals confined in extreme temperatures (e.g., hot cars).
  • Limiting the sale of animals in public places by unlicensed sellers (such as roadside animals sales).

Please use caution in judging candidates who did not respond to the survey.

About two-thirds of the candidates running for state legislative offices did not respond to the survey. Many of the non-respondents are incumbents running for re-election who are known to be strong supporters of animal welfare legislation based on their voting records. Similarly, other non-respondents are known to be less supportive of animal welfare legislation based on voting records. Please contact your candidates directly if you need further information on their positions on any animal welfare issues

Do you have questions on the survey? Contact Rick at rick@savewashingtonpets.org.

Thanks to Save Washington Pets for the info in this post!

DxE action in San Francisco

Visiting Animal Activists – DxE

Animal liberation group Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) will be stopping by Seattle on their West Coast tour this July. The first day the organizers from the East Bay Area chapter of DxE will speak about the origins of the network, its organizing principles and its current campaigns. This will also be a place for discussion, where we will trade ideas and hear about the struggles and campaigns that Seattle is involved with.

The second day of their tour will be a day of action, where they will collectively plan and implement actions at different locations across the city with those who want to get involved based on what they learned during the first day.

DxE action in San Francisco
DxE action in San Francisco

The purpose of the tour is to strengthen the network and relationships with activist communities through face-to-face interaction. As part of the “network” in NARN, we are excited to learn from activists doing new things and figure what can be applied in Seattle.

Please join DxE, NARN, and your local animal liberation community for this event before you head out for any giant vegan BBQ potlucks. This will be a great way to really kick off the Seattle summer! If you are unsure about DxE, anti-corporate activism, civil disobedience, humane myth-busting, or any part of their campaign, this is a great time to learn more.  Free of course!

Seattle Stop of the Direct Action Everywhere West Cost Tour
Day 1: July 4, 2014
12:00-2:00 pm
Black Coffee Coop
501 E Pine St, Seattle, Washington 98122
RSVP on Facebook or just show up: https://www.facebook.com/events/294618630711332/

Day 2: July 5, 2014
Time and location to be announced

 

2014 NARN Annual Meeting

It is that time of year again where members get together for socializing, vegan eating, and electing new board members at the 2014 Annual NARN Meeting – Saturday June 14, 2014 from 2:00-4:00 PM.

vote

This event is the one time each year that members run for board positions. We hope many NW animal advocates come out and that volunteers run for one of the 5 open board seats.   You do need to be NARN a member to vote. Renew your annual membership here.

This private meeting will be held at a founder’s home in Seattle, so please RSVP to on Facebook or via email to info {at} NARN.org to receive the address. We will provide some snacks and beverages, but feel free to bring a vegan snack or drink of your choice. See you all then!

Sea Lions Need Guardians!

Volunteers for Sea Lions Still Needed at the
Bonneville Dam and in Astoria, Oregon
In Defense of AnimalsIn Defense of Animals and the Sea Lion Defense Brigade (SLDB) are seeking passionate, dedicated individuals to be volunteer observers through the end of May at the Bonneville Dam and in Astoria, Oregon near Pier 36. The Columbia River sea lions need reliable eyes and ears on the river to assist in ending the lethal removal program.
If you have a still camera, binoculars, and/or video equipment and time to help, please volunteer with SLDB at either the Bonneville Dam or in Astoria.
The sea lion killing program is more about politics than sound science. Sea lions are being trapped, branded, and killed for eating only 1% of the fish, while human predation is at an all time high.
Sea Lions are being scapegoated by the fishing industry. Science shows the importance of protecting keystone species in the ecology and removing these species from an eco-system causes harm to the system as a whole.
For information about how you can help, or to volunteer, please contact Eric at eric@idausa.org.

Tote Bag Slogan Contest

Hello smart and creative animal advocates! We only have 4 (yes only 4!) of our “The Future is Vegan” tote bags. If you haven’t gotten yours yet, you best get on that tout de suite! Dwindling inventory means it is time to design a new bag so we can keep telling the world that animals matter. We want your big brains to help us!

Submit your idea for a slogan in the comments below, or on Facebook, or via twitter to @NARNtweet to be entered. You can suggest up to 5 different slogans and be entered once for each submission. If we choose your slogan to be on our next tote bag, you’ll win a free tote bag (worth $20) and a free year membership to NARN (worth $25) – a prize worth $45 in total (look how good at math we are)!

The future is vegan tote bag
Current NARN tote bag. Only a few left!

Criteria: slogan should be under 80 characters including spaces; should support animal liberation and / or veganism; should not discriminate or oppress any other group (i.e. should not be sexists, racist, ableist, etc.); must be original (no quotes or slogans from other groups). Deadline is May 19, 2014.

So get those creative juices flowing! We can’t wait to see your great ideas.

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!