Category Archives: Activist Community

Letters to a New Vegan

NARN got wind of a neat new project that you might be interested in:

Letters to a New Vegan
Call for Submissions
Deadline: November 15, 2013
Send submissions to veganletters@gmail.com

At the turn of the nineteenth century, a 19-year-old military student wrote a letter to a famous author seeking advice on how to live. “Nobody can advise you, nobody,” Rainer Maria Rilke replied. “There is only one way. Go into yourself.” Having said that, however, Rilke would go on to offer ample advice to the young man, writing him no fewer than ten letters in which he shared his thoughts on thriving in a complex, insensitive world. These letters would become the small but widely-treasured volume Letters to a Young Poet (1929).

Rilke’s bipartite response to his young poet exemplifies the human paradox: We need to go deeply into ourselves and we need each other. Those of us living on the edge of a ground-breaking social movement especially need each other. We need each other’s encouragement and insights; we need to hear how others have made their way—detours, stumbles, and all. Combining the stories of others with our own experience and inner wisdom, we cultivate the sustenance for lives that matter to ourselves and to the wider world.

With that, you are invited to submit your own story to an edited collection called Letters to a New Vegan. The intention of this volume is just as its allusory title suggests: We are looking to create a community of words that can encircle new vegans everywhere, from all walks of life, as they embark on their own journeys. Letters should be no longer than 1000 words (short letters are as welcome as long ones), begin with the salutation “Dear New Vegan,” and end with your name (first or full, your choice) and place of  residence. Between the salutation and closing we ask that you write in your own voice, with authenticity, honesty, and compassion.

A possible place to begin as you contemplate your letter: What would you have wanted to hear when you were a new vegan? What would have helped?

Submission guidelines:

Please email your letter (Word documents preferred) along with a short author bio to veganletters@gmail.com by November 15, 2013. Questions can be directed to this address as well.

A final, important note: We’re eager for letters from people of all ages, backgrounds, and perspectives. The vegan story is nothing if not multi-vocal.

Helping a Vegan Activist

You may have heard of Vegan Outreach, an organization dedicated to reducing the suffering of farmed animals. The people working with Vegan Outreach can often be found leafleting in campuses across the country, promoting informed eating.

Rachel Shippee from Vegan Outreach will be leafleting in the Seattle area in October and November, as part of Vegan Outreach’s Adopt a College program.

adopt a college

If you have time to join Rachel for leafleting or a meal, please contact Anne at anne@veganoutreach.org so she can send Rachel your contact info.

Rachel needs housing in or near the cities along her route. If you have a spare couch or bed for this polite young activist, please let Anne know that as well. You can be part
of the ‘Hotel Vegan Outreach’ chain!

Thank you for your support of this important work!

Rachel’s schedule

10/22/2013      Bellevue College, Bellevue
10/22/2013      Seattle University, Seattle
10/23/2013      Seattle Central Community College, Seattle
10/23/2013      Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle
10/24/2013      South Seattle Community College, Seattle
10/24/2013      Seattle Pacific University, Seattle
10/25/2013      University of Washington, Seattle

10/28/2013      Shoreline Community College, Shoreline
10/28/2013      Edmonds Community College, Lynnwood
10/29/2013      Everett Community College, Everett
10/29/2013      Whatcom Community College, Bellingham
10/30/2013      Western Washington University, Bellingham

11/13/2013      Highline Community College, Des Moines
11/13/2013      University of Puget Sound, Tacoma
11/13/2013      Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma

Josh Garrett Breaks PCT Record for MFA

First Ag-Gag Challenge Filed

This week (Monday 22 July) marked the first lawsuit against ag-gag laws. The Animal Legal Defense Fund, PETA, environmental journalist Will Potter and animal rights activist Amy Meyer filed a civil lawsuit on Monday contesting the constitutionality of a Utah law that bans recording at an agricultural facility without the owner’s consent. In February of this year, Meyer became the first person charged under an ag-gag law, after she filmed a downed cow at a slaughterhouse while standing on a public sidewalk. Charges were later dropped.

The lawsuit alleges that the Utah law violates the Constitution, as it singles out certain types of speech for less protection under the First Amendment. It would also single out certain types of investigative reporting as illegal. Although its primary purpose is to put a lid on political debate over factory farming by preventing the public from finding out about the inherent animal cruelty, it could also impact food safety measures and apply to the filming of unsafe working conditions or bad employment practices.

A total of 8 states now have ag-gag laws. Proponents argue that this is a private property issue. They are right, of course. At issue is their private property: money.

 

Come to Animal Activism 201 This Sunday

Animal Activism 201: The Psychology of Change is a two-hour workshop being held at the University District Library this Sunday, June 2nd, 2013.

animals 201

The event picks up where Animal Activism 101 left off–but don’t worry. You didn’t have to attend the first to come to the second. This one will focus on different issues, mainly how we can understand human nature and use that knowledge to be more effective activists.

Activism isn’t just attending demos, leafleting, or tabling. You can be an activist in many ways, including “behind the scenes.” Blogging, web design, graphic arts, letter-writing, data entry–there’s a job for all of us and this meeting will help you find a way to be effective.

We’ll get together and talk about how we can progress the movement for animal liberation by knowing more about how we humans work!

Check out the Facebook event and RSVP if you haven’t already or just show up!

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
The Seattle Public Library – University Branch
5009 Roosevelt Way N.E., Seattle, WA 98105

Best of all, the event is FREE! We’ll be heading to a local vegan eatery for some food and socializing after, so don’t miss it!

 

First Person Arrested Under Ag-Gag

 

Twenty-five year old Amy Meyer was arrested and charged with violating Utah’s new “Ag Gag” bill that makes it illegal for citizens to record the abuse of animals.  262554_570497038429_549205_nShe went to the Smith Meatpacking Slaughterhouse in Draper, Utah, because she had heard that anyone could see what was going on right from the street. While she was there, she saw cows fighting to get away, a downer cow carried off on a tractor lift, and ground flesh being spewed from a chute on one side of the building. While filming this with her cell phone, she never set foot in the slaughterhouse area, and remained at all times on public property. She was arrested and charged with agricultural operation interference. She is to go to court on May 23rd. If convicted, she faces up to six months in jail. By the way….the Mayor of Draper, Darrell Smith, co-owns the slaughterhouse. But that wouldn’t have anything to do with anything, would it?

Please call the following people and express your support for Amy Meyer and slaughterhouse transparency. I am guessing you can think of many ways of expressing this. And then write two quick emails. Please try to stay respectful and polite — don’t make people remember our rudeness rather than our rightness. These are EASY CALLS. No one is going to start arguing with you (and do you care?) :-)

Utah Governor Herbert
Phone: (800) 705-2464

Draper Mayor Darrell Smith
Phone: (801) 576-6513

Draper City Prosecutor Ben Rasmussen
Phone: (801) 576-6545

Members of the Utah legislature
http://le.utah.gov/Documents/find.htm

Please call the Dale T. Smith and Sons Meat Packing Company and express your disapproval of their mistreatment of animals and their decision to press charges.
Phone: (801) 571-3611
mail@smithmeats.com

Spay/Neuter Assistance Bills Hearings: How You Can Help

The spay/neuter assistance bills were recently introduced as SB 5202 and HB 1229 in the Washington legislature and have hearings scheduled on February 5 and 6.

Here we’ll guide you in attending the hearings, submitting a letter or email of support, and offer talking points. If something’s not clear, email us at info@savewashingtonpets.org for guidance.  Thanks for speaking up on behalf of the animals!

Attending the Hearings

Your attendance at either or both hearings will be very helpful. You can testify or just sign in indicating your support for the bills, and you can bring copies of written testimony to provide the committee members (bring about 20 copies for committee members and staff).

Special notice for residents of District 19 (Pacific, Wahkiakum, and parts of Grays Harbor and Cowlitz counties): Please contact us atinfo@savewashingtonpets.org. Your attendance at the hearings is very important, since the committee chairmen represent your district.

If you Cannot Attend the Hearings

1.  Identify your district and your senator/representatives, then call and/or email them to let them know you support these bills (mention both bills by number as SB 5202/HB 1229). Helpful Hint: to avoid forms, use the legislator email directory.

2.  If your senator or representatives are on the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee or the Senate Agriculture, Water & Rural Economic Development Committee it is especially important that you submit a letter/email or come to the hearing (where that legislator is a member) to testify.

The Hearings

SB 5202: The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, February 5, 10 am, before the Senate Agriculture Committee. The hearing will be held in Senate Hearing Room 3 in the John A. Cherberg Building at the Capitol.

HB 1229: The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, February 6, 8 am, before the House Agriculture Committee. The hearing will be held in House Hearing Room B in the John L. O’Brien Building at the Capitol.

Please note that hearing schedules are subject to change. Please confirm the senate hearing schedule here and the house hearing schedule here before you travel to Olympia. Need directions to Olympia? Please see this page on the Legislature’s website.

Talking Points for Your Email or Testimony

The bills would provide financial assistance to support the costs of companion animal spay/neuter surgery. Expected impacts include significant cost reductions for animal care and control of homeless animals and a significant reduction in the numbers of dogs and cats euthanized in Washington shelters. For possible talking points, please see our flyer that explains the bill, and our flyer that summarizes the financial benefits of passing this bill.  Remember to be brief and polite in any communications with legislators.

Questions? Contact us at info@savewashingtonpets.org!

Washington Alliance for Humane Legislation has taken a lead role in preparing and advocating for passage of the Spay/Neuter Assistance Bill (SB 5202/HB 1229) and the two bills addressing animal cruelty (SB 5204/HB 1202 and SB 5203/HB 1201). Please join us in supporting the passage of these bills, and all bills that advance and preserve the humane treatment of animals.

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