You Are An Agent of History

The Bad News:

We humans systematically breed, torture, and brutally kill billions of animals each year for pleasure. We do unspeakable things to our fellow earthlings – creatures with physical and emotional needs similar to ours. Most people’s eyes, hearts, and minds are closed to these horrors. Most of us are complicit and literally pay others to do these atrocious deeds to animals. It is happening right now as you read this. Millions are in pain, suffering, dying without hope in crates, shackles, cages, and boxes all over the world. 98% of human society finds this is acceptable.

The Good News:

Things change. Just in the past 5 years the blinders have started to fall, people from all backgrounds around the world have been moving in droves to a more compassionate and reasonable lifestyle. People have taken to the streets in Italy, Cork, Syracuse, Turkey, and of course, Seattle to speak out for those who can’t speak for themselves. Almost every week you hear of a new influential person who is trying veganism. There are more positive sentiments online around veganism than there are negative. The tide is very slowly turning.

 

What Matters:

Things don’t change without us. We are the problem and the solution. The animals in cages today, and their offspring for generations to come, are counting on YOU AND ME to help them, to do something. There is no magical group working working for their rights and freedom except us. You, me, your mom, you weird cousin, that guy holding a sign by himself in the rain outside the UW Primate Testing Facility. We are their hope. If we don’t tell people what is happening to animals, hearts will remain hard and closed. If we don’t work to change things, they won’t change. The suffering will continue unabated. If we chose being popular over fighting injustice, then we should all despair.

|| OBSERVE || PUBLIC OPINIONS || Animal Rights Protest March || Dame Street || Dublin || Republic of Ireland ||

So What? You matter. Right now, decide to use your talents, energy, and love to work to evolve the human race. Join the groups that will push society into a saner, kinder, and more sustainable future. By helping to open others’ hearts and minds, you’ll open cages. Every animal counts. Every cage matters. The way we are in the world is the root of evil, and we must strike at the roots.

Being vegan means you’ll be on the right side of history. But being an activist means you are an agent of history.

If you aren’t sure how to get started, come to the next NARN open meeting January 13.

 

“It does not take a majority to prevail … but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” – Samuel Adams

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Where is your veganism headed?

We’ve noticed that there are many phases or “faces” of veganism. They aren’t in the same order for everyone, but maybe you recognize yourself in some of these. They can last for 10  days or for 10 years. Sometimes all at once.

  1. I’m vegan! I’m my family thinks I am a freak and I want to be loved so I pretty much never mention it to my grandma, and I downplay any inconveniences and never talk about how others hurt animals around people who aren’t vegan. I don’t use the world vegan often and nobody at my work probably even knows. Veganism is a personal, private choice.
  2. I’m vegan and I want some comfort food! I try to make or eat everything that is labeled vegan. It doesn’t matter that I haven’t eaten a real vegetable in weeks. And I go out to eat with my friends many times a week just to be with like minded people and eat vegan waffles and gravy and cake. Why isn’t everyone vegan? The food is so amazing!
    Redwood Vegan Biscuits and Gravy
    Vegan biscuit, potatoes, sausage from Redwood Sunday brunch. 

  3. I’m vegan and I want omnivores to know that vegans aren’t freaks, and I’m normal, so everyone should know that I am vegan. I’ve got vegan pride. So I talk about how good vegan food is to anyone who will listen. And I tell my co-workers how good it feels to be vegan. And I make vegan food for my family, friends, and anyone who will eat my food and let sing vegan praises. I invite others out to dinner. I eat healthy so that I can be a good vegan role model. I rarely mention the animals at all. Just food. And I do everything else normal so vegans aren’t so scary.
  4. I’m vegan but all of the animal suffering around me still makes me incredibly sad. I want others to discover how easy it is to be vegan. Someone influenced me once, so maybe I can influence others? How can I be supportive and encouraging while also telling the hard truth about how animals suffer in factory farms, laboratories, fur farms, zoos, circuses, and beyond?  I’ll do some vegan outreach at the Fremont Fair. I want a vegan world! Veganism is political!
    Seattle Tilth Fair Sept 8, 2012 - Rachel and Anika
    NARN Board Members doing vegan outreach at the Tilth Festival this summer. 

  5. I’m vegan and I want to help animals right now. I don’t need to fit in anymore. Animals are suffering this very moment and I can’t turn away. I can’t forget them. I want to make a difference. When history is on our side, I want to say that I spoke out. That I made a fuss. That I didn’t let let suffering and tyranny run rampant on my watch. That I tried to do something with my time and talents.

Recognize any of this? Board member Pete is fond of the  slogan: “Silent = Consent.” We don’t consent to the horrors that are perpetrated in the name of human desires. We won’t be silent. Board member Anika’s favorite quote is “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” -  Elie Wiesel. She likes it because it admits that she sometimes feel powerless – but that even if that is the case, she should still speak out against injustice.

If you are feeling more and more inclined to speak out against the ways we torture and needlessly kill animals, NARN is here to support you. We can help you follow your passions, join with others, and make a difference in the lives of animals today. Just email us at info@narn.org.

 

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Primate Lib Week 2012: Kick-Off and Letter Writing Party

“We must always take sides.  Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.  Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”  ―    Elie Wiesel

As you know, Oct 6-14, 2012 is National Primate Liberation week. While we aren’t excited that researchers continue to abuse and exploit our close cousins in the name of human health, we are excited to get together to talk about what we can do for these monkeys and future generations of primates.

We plan to kick-off the week  with a great social and information sharing event and letter writing party. If you are vegan and have been thinking of getting more involved, this is the ideal gathering to learn more about NARN and what is possible when a group of people get together to make a difference.

letterforblog

The current president of NARN will speak about what type of primate experiments and financial support come into the NW and we’ll have other guests as well. We’ll also show a trailer for the upcoming documentary screening of Maximum Tolerated Dose, which will screen on Monday evening. Vegan snacks and treats will abound – Violet Sweet Shoppe is even donating some vegan sweets.

NARN will provide some sample letters designed for: a) UW Leaders and Policy Makers b) Those Currently Involved in Primate Research, c) other academics and professors at the UW who would be willing to open up the conversation with their students and colleagues and d) press and media. We will have physical paper and envelopes, and some old stationary and cards too. We can be creative and serious about our cause at the same time.  Children are welcome – as long as they are old enough (or young enough) to see photos of animals in cages and hear open discussion about why it matters. There won’t be anything specifically gory, but use your best discretion. Their letters may end up being some of the most influential.

Bring your laptop if you have one! We have more than 30 different people to write – sending emails and typing is much faster – even if less fun. We’ll have sample letters on a memory stick for you to take and modify – adding your own voice and ideas.

And remember: For every single letter or email that you you write, you’ll be entered into the drawing for this amazing vintage Animal Rights shirt commemorating the liberation of an infant rhesus monkey, not unlike the many infant monkeys that suffer in UW labs today. For more information about the activities for the week RSVP on the Facebook Event Page and for more information about the experiments and abuses in UW labs visit uwkills.wordpress.com.

See you Sunday!

5:30 PM
University Friends Meeting Hall
4001 9th Ave NE, Seattle

Free parking, bike racks (and right off the Burke-Gilman trail), and on many bus lines!

 

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National Primate Liberation Week: Win a Vintage 1985 Animal Rights Shirt

OK Animal lovers. We you know are you are getting ready to attend some of the National Primate Liberation Week events that we have in store for you. But to make coming out even more fun and rewarding, NARN is giving away an extremely rare and special t-shirt.

DSC04050

This T-shirt, only worn once for this photo session, commemorates the liberation of Britches from a California lab in 1985 by the ALF. Britches story is inspiring and special – and reminds us of the real lives behind the laboratory cages. If you aren’t familiar with Britches, check out the 10 minute mini-movie made about his story and his rescue. The t-shirt is bright white and an XL, so it can be made to fit most sizes either as-is, or with tailoring. Could be made into a patch, or tank, or something else cool too.

Britches Tshirt

How to enter the drawing? Each event that you attend during National Primate Liberation week (kick-off, movie, UW protest, postering, etc) you’ll be entered. And bonus: for every letter you write at the kick-off event, Sunday Oct 7, you’ll be entered too! Please share this awesome drawing with all your vegan and animal loving friends too. We can’t wait to run into someone in Seattle wearing this shirt!

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Film Screening: Maximum Tolerated Dose

Maxium Tolerated Dose Movie Poster

 

As part of National Primate Liberation Week, NARN and Seattle ADL will be bringing you a screening of the moving new documentary film, Maximum Tolerated Dose. Equal parts found-footage mash-up, verité investigation, and artful meditation, the film charts the lives of both humans and non-humans who have experienced animal testing first-hand, with hauntingly honest testimony of scientists and lab technicians whose ethics demanded they choose a different path, as well as the simultaneously heartwarming and heartbreaking stories of animals who have seen both sides of the cage. This film will help us re-ignite the debate about animal testing by bringing these rarely-heard perspectives to the fore.

Please check out the film trailer.

This free event is your opportunity to learn more about animal experimentation in the medical industry, think about the primates and other non-human animals in laboratories right here in our city, and most importantly, invite friends and family who haven’t thought twice about this issue. This meaningful and thoughtful film will leave you inspired by the honest and open conversations about what happens in laboratories. We may even have a special guest speaker! This is not an event to miss

Monday, Oct 8, 2012
7:30-9:30 PM
FREE
Odd Duck Studio – Capitol Hill
1214 10th Avenue Seattle, WA 98122 (near Union and 10th)

 

Bonus: As with all of the National Primate Liberation Week activities, every person who attends this screening will be entered into the drawing for the mega awesome vintage 1985 Animal Rights t-shirt showing the story of Britches, the famous baby macaque monkey rescued by the ALF.

See you there!

 

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Amitai Etzioni Says Political Action Will Make You Happy

Some folks may wonder why NARN Board Members, campaign leads, and volunteers do what we do. If you volunteer with us, you may wonder why you do what you do. I mean really. Life is kind of hard. Work is hard. Relationships are hard. Why go out to the streets and be mocked for standing up for animals, when you could be playing World of Warcraft? Why spend the weekend behind a table at a local street fair, in hopes of reducing exploitation of animals for food, when you could be drinking with friends at the beach? Why spend your (very) hard earned money on putting on events, movie screenings, or ad campaigns against animal abusers when you could spend it on train ticket to Portland (yum)?

Well, the first answer, of course, is: to make a difference in the lives of living animals and future generations of our fellow earthlings. But wait. That is not all! Turns out that stepping into the community and standing up against injustice will make you a much happier person too!

World famous scholar and sociologist, Amitai Etzioni, shares his research in this simple, short, personal video. He says that our new iPhones won’t make us happy, but relationships, cultural and intellectual pursuits, and political action will. Check it out:

You Don’t Need to Buy This

If you don’t believe Dr. Etzioni, I think you should take him up on his challenge. Ditch the shopping trip and contact us about volunteering with NARN and see if you aren’t happier for it. We dare you. Email info@narn.org or fill out this form.

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Help Keep Circus Cruelty Out of the NW

Humans have a great capacity for compassion and for cruelty – but most people, when given all of the information, opt for compassion. We know that circuses that use living animals as entertainment are some of cruelest behind the scenes while wooing families with the prospect of happy dancing elephants and tigers jumping through hoops. Most people who attend the circus never imagine the horrors that go on for the sake of breaking these wild creatures. They don’t know that there are real individuals that suffer in these horrific, surreal traveling prisons – beaten to conform, forced to perform, chained and caged for most of their lives.

Many nations (Ireland, India, Sweden, Singapore, Austria, Finland, Costa Rica, and more) around the world have already banned animal circuses – as have many major cities, including Redmond, WA. But alas, Ringling Bros. Circus is coming to Everett, Tacoma, and Kent August 17-Sept 3, 2012. And thousands of unassuming patrons will be dolling out dollars to one of the worst animal abusers.

These creatures need us to come out this month and speak on their behalf. They need us to raise our voices even tho’ they can’t. They need us in numbers to share what we know with circus-goers so that people walk away and reject the cruelty behind the training.

So this is our call: Don’t stay home. When you are with others who care, and when you see what a difference just speaking out can do, you’ll be proud. For each city that bans circuses, for every family that ops not to buy a ticket, these animals and their future offspring get closer to sanctuaries. The money for the exotic animal trade dries up. This process of saying “no” to circuses and telling potential circus goers about the reality behind the myth is the only way to make it stop.

Join us:

TACOMA
Friday 8/17  6:00 – 7:30pm
Saturday 8/18 10:00am – 11:30am; 2:00pm – 3:30pm; 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Sunday 8/19 11:30 – 1:00pm; 3:30 – 5:00pm
{More Tacoma Protest Info}

EVERETT
Thursday 8/23 6:00 – 7:30pm
Friday 8/24 6:00 – 7:30pm
Saturday 8/25 10:00am – 11:30am; 2:00pm – 3:30pm; 6:00pm – 7:30p
Sunday 8/26 11:30am – 1:00pm; 3:30pm – 5:00pm
{More Everett Protest Info}

KENT
Friday 8/31  6p – 7:30pm
Saturday 9/1  10am – 11:30am; 2pm – 3:30pm; and 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Sunday 9/2: 11:30am – 1:00pm; 3:30pm – 5:00pm
Monday 9/3: 10:30am – 12:00pm; 2:30pm – 4:00pm
{More Kent Protest Info}

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Declaration of Solidarity

We, as the Board of Directors of the Northwest Animal Rights Network,
recognize the culpability of corporations in the systematic exploitation and oppression of animals, in the promotion of their use, and in the violation of their interests by reducing them to commodities.

Whereas,
having examined the resolution and declaration voted upon and passed by the New York City General Assembly of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which takes a united stand against abusive corporate power and expresses solidarity “in a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments;”

And whereas,
noting with approval within their declaration the following statement among 23 listed grievances of corporate malfeasance, “(t)hey have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless animals, and actively hide these practices;”

And whereas,
we recognize that corporate oppression is negatively impacting all beings, both human and nonhuman, and see the need to stand in solidarity acting as agents for all human and nonhuman animals who are exploited and oppressed to express a feeling of mass injustice;

Thereby,
we stand unified as one with the New York City General Assembly, the Occupy Wall Street movement, the Occupy Seattle movement, and the other attendant populist movements across the nation. We will act in concert with their stated call to assert our power to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems all beings face; and generate solutions accessible to everyone.

On October 6, 2011, this resolution and declaration was presented at NARN’s monthly board meeting, voted upon, and passed unanimously .

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Disaster Preparedness

In light of the recent catastrophic events in Japan, it is a poignant reminder to all of us to prepare for disasters, no matter what form it takes. Here in the Pacific Northwest region, we are at risk for earthquake activity, owing to the many fault lines that run along the Pacific coastline, as well as effects of tsunamis. Many low-lying areas are also prone to flooding, and tornadoes, while rare in this region, are not out of the question.

After being lucky enough to survive an initial disaster, the infrastructure we depend on may not be functional; there may no longer be access to food or running water, electricity or shelter, so planning ahead for such contingencies increases your chance of surviving for a period of time in case rescue crews or relief supplies are not able to reach you for a few days. Especially after a substantially destructive event with widespread damage, help may not come for some time, so it is best to plan ahead; imagine taking a camping trip for a week and you’ll get some idea of what you’ll need. Speaking of camping, many of us in this region do so, so there is the added advantage of having those supplies and gear at our disposal. Failing that, you can compile such items now and it will serve the dual purpose of being available for that trip you’ve been wanting to take in the mountains.

It will take some time and money to compile these kits, but it is important to start now and add to it as time and money allows; every little bit you add will greatly improve your situation later should the unthinkable happen. We recommend compiling one go-kit for each member of your household, including special items for your companion animal(s), and stowing camping gear in your available vehicles. There are special items you can compile for the home, but be aware that after a flood, earthquake, or tornado, your residence may be compromised enough to be unsafe for habitation, if it is left standing at all.

Vegans will have to ensure that there is enough food stocked up and packed away. Relief supplies, once they come, may not be all vegan, so having enough food for at least 7 days is recommended. Energy bars are convenient, especially in the Go-Kits, but they are expensive. Better to stock up at home on canned soups, beans and vegetables, dried fruit, nuts, and avoid foods like rice, noodles, and instant mixes as they require heat and a lot of precious water to prepare. There are now available quite a few packaged vacuum-sealed meals (usually Indian or Thai curries) that are vegan.

Another consideration for vegans is the inclusion of first-aid kits. There are many pre-packaged first-aid kits on the market, but many of them have products either with animal ingredients or are manufactured by companies that conduct testing on animals. It is better to make your own, using items from safe manufacturers. A list of recommended items are below.

Discuss an evacuation plan with all members of your household and how to notify each other in case of separation. Note that phone and internet communication networks may either be inoperable or overloaded, but establish an out-of-town/state contact person that each person can check in with, or use the same social networking sites. Discuss alternate meet-up places. If you have children, make sure they know their basic personal information should they get separated, know alternate contacts and meeting sites, and role-play with them on what to do and where to go as well as how to get hold of 911 and other contacts.

Your companion animals need special attention and planning. Make sure any licenses are current, and each animal has an ID tag. Consider micro-chips. Keep an updated list of trusted neighbors who could assist your companion animals in case of an emergency. Make sure they are comfortable being inside carriers. Fasten down aquariums and other cages to their tables to prevent them from tipping over. If you evacuate, locate all your animals and keep them with you. Be aware that shelters will only allow service animals. In a large-scale disaster, animal shelters will be set up when possible.

If there is absolutely no way to take your companion animals with you, inform animal rescue workers of your pets’ status: On your front door or in a highly visible window, use chalk, paint or marker to write the number and types of pets in your residence. Include their location in your home and the date that you evacuated. Leave plenty of water in a large, open container that cannot be tipped over. Leave plenty of food in timed feeders to prevent your pet from overeating. Absolutely do *not* tie up your pet in your home. The first chance you can get communications, find out who among neighbors, friends, or rescue workers can get to your place.

The old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is never as critical to follow as preparing for a disaster. It is worth it to start now, and even if you cannot afford to get everything at this point get what you can, and continue to build upon your kits, because every little bit will prove to be invaluable should the unexpected happen. And especially for those of us who have others who depend on us, like companion animals, and those who are living as vegans, it is important to place extra consideration to ensure that as many living beings survive as possible.

FIRST-AID KIT (in a small plastic container)

    + First-aid manual
    + Sterile gauze pads of different sizes
    + Adhesive tape
    + Adhesive bandages in several sizes
    + Elastic bandage
    + A splint
    + Antiseptic wipes
    + Soap
    + Antibiotic ointment
    + Antiseptic solution (like hydrogen peroxide)
    + Cold packs/Heat packs (wrap in towel prior to use)
    + Tweezers
    + Sharp scissors
    + Safety pins
    + Disposable gloves

GO-KIT (in a backpack)

    + LED-flashlight
    + Dust-mask
    + First-aid kit (as noted above)
    + Bottled water
    + Dried food like soy jerkies, energy bars, dried fruit, granola, etc.
    + Permanent marker, paper, tape to leave behind notes
    + Whistle
    + Flare or warning light to signal planes/helicopters
    + Multi-tool knife
    + Matches in waterproof container or cigarette lighter
    + Rain poncho
    + Warm hat/gloves
    + Sturdy shoes
    + A change of clothes
    + Emergency Mylar blanket (aka thermal blanket, Space Blanket, first-aid blanket)
    + Extra glasses, contact cases, contact solutions, other vital personal items
    + Prescription medication
    + Travel-size toothpaste and toothbrush
    + Photos of family members/companion animals for ID purposes
    + Copy of health insurance and identification cards
    + List of emergency point-of-contact phone numbers
    + Extra keys
    + Emergency cash in small denominations

COMPANION-ANIMAL GO-KIT (in a shoulder bag)

    + Carrier with blanket (Store with bag)
    + Sturdy leashes and muzzles for dogs.
    + Food, potable water and medicine/supplements for at least one week
    + Non-spill bowls, manual can opener (if using canned food)
    + Plastic bags for sanitation
    + Recent photo of each pet
    + Names and phone numbers of your emergency contact, emergency veterinary hospitals and animal shelters
    + Copy of your pet’s vaccination history and any medical problems
    + Favorite toy
    + A pillowcase may be a good emergency transport for cats and other small animals

HOME KIT (in large plastic tub)

    + Water*
    + Food (as noted above)
    + Manual can-opener
    + First-aid kit (as noted above)
    + Crowbar
    + Dust-masks
    + Non-leather heavy-duty work gloves
    + Hand-powered radio
    + Flashlight/batteries
    + Plastic sheeting/duct-tape to cover up broken windows
    + Bucket/heavy plastic bags for sanitation (toilets may not function)
    + Personal hygiene items including toilet paper, feminine supplies, hand sanitizer and soap
    + Rope/twine
    + Plastic tarps
    + A copy of important documents & phone numbers
    + Tools; hammer, nails, staple gun, hacksaw/pruning saw
    + For children provide comfort food and treats, and games

It would be a good idea to store a crowbar, dust-mask, sturdy shoes, flashlight, and glasses next to your bed

CAR KIT (to supplement Go-Kit)

    + Water*
    + Food (as noted above)
    + Sleeping bag(s)
    + Tent
    + Camping mess kit (forks, spoons, knives, metal pots/cups/plates)
    + Camp stove, or matches/cigarette lighter for building camp-fires
    + Extra blankets
    + Flashlight/batteries
    + First-aid kit (as noted above)
    + Emergency road-side kit (usually includes flares and tools)
    + In-car chargers for cell-phones and other communication devices
    + CB Radio
    + Change of clothes
    + Warm hat/gloves

*A SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT WATER:
In a disaster, water supplies may be cut off or contaminated. Store enough water for everyone in your family to last for at least 3 days.
Store one gallon of water per person, per day. Three gallons per person per day will give you enough to drink and for limited cooking and personal hygiene. Remember to plan for your companion animals.
If you store tap water:
Tap water from a municipal water system can be safely stored without additional treatment.
Store water in food grade plastic containers, such as clean 2-liter soft drink bottles. Heavy duty, reusable plastic water containers are also available at sporting goods stores. Empty milk bottles are not recommended because their lids do not seal well and bottles may develop leaks. Label and store in a cool, dark place. Replace water at least once every six months.
If you buy commercially bottled “spring” or “drinking” water:
Keep water in its original container, and don’t re-store a bottle once it’s been opened. Store in a cool, dark place. If bottles are not marked with the manufacturer’s expiration date, label with the date and replace bottles at least once per year.
Treating Water after Disaster:
If you run out of stored drinking water, strain and treat water from your water heater or the toilet reservoir tank (except if you use toilet tank cleaners). Swimming pool or spa water should not be consumed but you can use it for flushing toilets or washing.
Treatment Process:
Strain any large particles of dirt by pouring the water through layers of paper towels or clean cloth. Next, purify the water one of two ways:
Boil – bring to a rolling boil and maintain for 3-5 minutes. After the water cools, pour it back and forth between two clean containers to add back oxygen; this will improve its taste.
Disinfect – If the water is clear, add 8 drops (1/8 teaspoon) of bleach per gallon of water. If it is cloudy, add 16 drops (1/4 teaspoon) per gallon. Make sure you are using regular bleach— 5.25% percent sodium hypochlorite— rather than the “ultra” or “color safe” bleaches. Shake or stir, then let stand 30 minutes. A slight chlorine taste and smell is normal.

A SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT EARTHQUAKES:
In an earthquake, since it happens suddenly and without warning, it is important to know what to do. It is a myth that the safest place is under a doorway; in modern structures, the doorway is no stronger than the rest of the building–in fact, you’re likely to get injured from doors swinging wildly, and if it’s a public building, people may shove past you to hurry through. Instead, drop, get under cover, and hold on. Many people make the mistake of standing, running, or trying to keep furniture from falling over—all major earthquake no-nos. When an earthquake strikes, don’t run or try to escape. Search for cover as close to you as possible; if you’re in bed, stay curled up and protect your head with a pillow. If you’re driving, pull over to the side when it’s safe, and stay off bridges and going underneath overpasses.

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Working for What’s Better Towards What’s Best: Our Approach to Advocacy

After announcing our support for Initiative 1130, some activists have expressed concern that this measure, which regulates the treatment of egg-laying chickens, is inconsistent with our other campaigns (ending the use of primates and other animals at University of Washington, freeing the elephants at the Woodland Park Zoo, vegan education and outreach) and our stated position of ending the use and exploitation of all animals.

One concern raised is that this measure would promote the “humane” myth, the idea that the passage of this measure means egg-laying hens would be treated humanely, leaving the buying consumer to buy so-called “cage-free” eggs in good conscience. That is a valid point, one which we have addressed when crafting our original post of our support with the qualification, “While this initiative will take a step towards alleviating some of the suffering, it does not ensure that the hens will be treated humanely.” We also listed the kind of treatments the measure does not address that will still occur, such as de-beaking.

In addition to qualifying our support, we will not allow to go unchallenged animal industries misleading the public into thinking that the new measure, if passed, would mean humanely-treated eggs. Our activism includes education on the inherent exploitative nature of farm production, among other animal industries, in all of its forms and practices. We have always advocated that to truly treat animals in a humane and respectful way, one should practice ethical veganism, the living practice of animal rights, and we will continue to do so.

But while we educate as many people as possible about ethical veganism, allowing industries to remain as cruel as possible is in our minds not a morally defensible position. While we will always advocate for the rights inherent to all sentient beings to live a full life, to be free, to not to be used and exploited, the hard fact is that until the majority of people believe that animals shouldn’t be raised for food, fashion, research or entertainment, billions of animals each year will continue to be bred, raised in torturous conditions, made to suffer at the hands of humans, and be killed in the prime of their life under the worst of abuses without any protections whatsoever.

We see this measure as just the start, a step to end some of the worst abuses while we continue to advocate for the end of the use of animals. This will serve as a building block upon which other measures can be passed, until there is a foundation of legal precedent for other measures recognizing the rights of animals to be built upon.

Our position is calling for both the end of the abuse and use of animals. Our approach is one of animal rights pragmatism; we must always strive for what is best for sentient beings at all times. What is better now is further progress to what is best. The converse cannot be true, that what is worse now can somehow progress to what is best. To allow the worst of abuses unchallenged while we work to secure the ultimate rights of animals puts the animals through needless suffering.

We do not see as inconsistent working to ensure better treatment for, in this case, chickens, while we also advocate for their rights and freedom; we work ultimately for the animals, not ultimately for an abstraction. Animal rights, while it is the goal we all wish for the animals, is merely a means to an end, not the end itself. The end is the sentient being. In fighting for the rights of animals, the animals themselves should be the primary focus in deciding what we can achieve now.

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