Category Archives: Animal Rights

Issues dealing with animals being viewed as commodities and property, and of the inherent rights of animals to not be used, exploited, and killed by people.

Protect Washington's Wolf Plan and Save Wolves

From the Center for Biological Diversity

Action: Please tell the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission not to expand wolf killing but instead focus on making the 2011 plan law.

You can sign an online petition or contact the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission at (360) 902-2267 or commission@dfw.wa.gov.

Here’s the scoop:

Washington’s wolves are making a comeback. After an extensive, five-year public process, a state Wolf Conservation and Management Plan was developed to help the wolves. Instead of making the wolf plan legally enforceable, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is considering proposals to increase cases where wolves can be killed and when compensation is paid after wolf predation on domestic animals. The parts of the plan that protect wolves aren’t being considered, and a meeting has been planned for Aug. 2 to make a decision on the proposed changes.

Please tell the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission not to expand wolf killing but instead focus on making the 2011 plan law. If you can, join the Center’s West Coast Wolf Organizer, Amaroq Weiss, at the hearing in Olympia on Friday, Aug. 2 and speak up for wolves in person.

Stand up for the wolf plan and for Washington’s wolves and reject these unjustified, one-sided proposals.

India: Dolphins "Non-Human Persons"

 

India has become the first country on earth to officially recognize that dolphins are “non-human persons”.  As you know, the country’s Ministry of Environment and Forests banned dolphin captivity earlier this year, calling it “morally unacceptable” due to their high intelligence and sensitivity.

“They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations..” — Henry Beston

 

 

Defeat the King Amendment to the Farm Bill

The Farm Bill is still making news. The revamped Bill recently approved by the House still includes the highly controversial King Amendment. House-Senate negotiators are now working to resolve the differences between their bills. The King Amendment, named after Representative Steve King of Iowa (who proposed it), claims to protect interstate commerce. In reality, it’s designed to undermine animal welfare laws enacted by individual states.

Please take a moment to call the four leaders of the House-Senate Farm Bill Conference Committee to ask them to remove the King Amendment from the final Farm Bill.
  • Sen. Thad Cochran: 202-224-5054
  • Rep. Frank Lucas: 202-225-5565
  • Rep. Collin Peterson: 202-225-2165
  • Sen. Debbie Stabenow: 202-224-4822
According to the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, states should be able to ban the sale of agricultural products if they are not produced in a manner approved by that state. Please help us defeat the dangerous and unconstitutional King Amendment to the 2013 Farm Bill.
More info at In Defense of Animals.

Geese Killed at Lake Sammamish State Park

Action for Animals recently found out about geese being killed at Lake Sammamish State Park. Read on for details and how you can help stop this in the future.

A few weeks ago Washington State Parks used USDA Wildlife Services to kill geese at Lake Sammamish State Park. They didn’t give the public any notice or any opportunity to comment.

geese

USDA Wildlife Services cruelly rounds up geese when the adults start to molt and can’t fly. USDA then herd the adults and babies into pens. If they are still doing what they did in the past when they were killing geese in the Seattle parks, the geese are shoved into gas chambers in the back of the USDA trucks.

The gas chambers weren’t designed for large birds like geese. The chambers are too small for the geese to stand upright prior to being gassed to death. Multiple geese are stuffed into the chamber at the same time while frantically struggling and trying to escape. Of course this is all done under a cloak of secrecy, so people are unaware of what’s being done or how.

There are many humane alternatives that work well when used together. Killing the geese only creates a temporary solution, because other geese will move in, resulting in an endless cycle of killing.

Geese at all of the Washington State Parks are in danger. If they are killing geese at Lake Sammamish State Park, they are probably killing them in the other state parks as well.

TAKE ACTION:
Please contact officials at Washington State Parks and tell them to stop the endless cycle of killing and to come up with a focused well thought out, comprehensive plan that uses humane alternatives. Killing is unacceptable and we must do a better job of sharing the earth with wildlife.

Rich Benson
Lake Sammamish State Park Manager
Phone: 425-649-4275
Email: Richard.Benson@PARKS.WA.GOV

Andrew Fielding
Washington State Parks Resource Steward
Phone: 509-665-4312
Email: Andrew.Fielding@PARKS.WA.GOV

Don Hock
Washington State Parks Director
Phone: 360-902-8844
Email: Don.Hoch@PARKS.WA.GOV

Also, please sign AFA’s online petition:
http://www.change.org/petitions/washington-state-parks-officials-stop-killing-geese

Thank you!

Stop Congress from overturing animal protection laws

Urgent Action Alert:
Animals suffering on factory farms urgently need your help.

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a version of the Farm Bill that includes the dangerous “King Amendment”—a measure that would override state animal protection laws nationwide.

act now linkIf enacted, the King Amendment would nullify the few state laws that do provide protection to farmed animals, such as laws banning cruel crates and cages, prohibiting the force-feeding of ducks, and forbidding horse slaughter and shark finning.

The shameful King Amendment, proposed by animal cruelty defender Rep. Steve King of Iowa, is also a threat to laws governing environmental protection, worker safety, and more.

The Farm Bill is currently under review by a joint congressional committee, which has the authority to remove the King Amendment.

It is crucial that you speak out against this dangerous legislation, which will have devastating consequences if enacted.

Please contact your U.S. representatives today and urge them to oppose the King Amendment to the Farm Bill.

Click here to take action now!

Thank you!

Belgium bans wild animals in circuses

On the heels of Great Britian, Greece, Austria, Slovenia, Colombia, Bolivia and Peru, the Belgian government has approved a new law that bans all wild animals from circuses.

Circus tent

The ban still must be approved by Parliament, but with 130 cities and municipalities already refusing circuses with wild animals, it shouldn’t be a tough sell.

Animal activists in Belgium have worked hard for this day. They knew that animals’ needs couldn’t be met in a circus and they worked with the people and government to implement the ban.

Circuses with animal acts take note: This is the direction of the future of entertainment. Change with the times or get left behind.

Jungle Party Demonstration for Bamboo, Chai and Watoto

Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants is joining IDA (In Defense of Animals) for this year’s Jungle Party Demonstration for Bamboo, Chai and Watoto, the three elephants on display at the Woodland Park Zoo. Jungle Party is the zoo’s largest fundraiser and Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants will be present to make the donors aware of the elephants’ pathetic lives.

What: Rally for Bamboo, Chai and Watoto
When: 4pm – 6:30 pm; Friday, July 12, 2013. Come for all or part of the time.
Where: Woodland Park Zoo’s WEST entrance (on Phinney Ave N. at N. 55th, Seattle, WA  98103)

Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants and IDA will also be protesting the composition of the task force that the zoo formed after years of criticism over the elephant program, the two scathing Seattle Times reports and subsequent two editorials calling for Bamboo, Chai and Watoto’s retirement to a sanctuary. The zoo is concerned about its image and the task force is about damage control, not looking after the elephants’ best interests.

Woodland Park Zoo chose all members of the task force, most of whom are financially and personally invested in the zoo. There are the five current or past zoo board members on the force—a clear conflict of interest. Dr. Slinker, a zoo board and task force member, chose the health panel. He co-authored an op-ed in The Seattle Times in which he said the elephants don’t have foot problems (which they do) and should stay at the zoo.

This task force is all about assuaging donors not Bamboo, Chai and Watoto’s welfare.  It clearly shows the zoo is concerned about their insistence on keeping elephants in their tiny display.

Also: Please come to all or part of the next task force meeting on Monday, July 22nd from 4pm – 7pm or 8pm (to be announced). It will be at the Seattle downtown library at 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle, WA 98104-1109 206-386-4636

Running with the bulls

It’s time again for another blood sport bath. Every summer from July 6th to 14th, the San Fermin Festival takes place in Pamplona, Spain. It’s a festival honoring Saint Fermin, a 3rd Century Roman who converted to Christianity.

Sadly, the festival revolves around the running of the bulls. Every morning bulls are forced onto slippery cobblestone streets filled with thousands of crazed revelers. As fireworks and explosives go off, the terrified animals run through a cordoned off section that creates a chute of sorts. The route leads to a bull ring, where they will be tortured and killed.

Photo credit: Bernard bill5 at nl.wikipedia
Photo credit: Bernard bill5 at nl.wikipedia

The festival is steeped in tradition related to transporting bulls to market. Today, it attracts mainly tourists, who think running among terrified animals makes them macho. It’s not brave or masculine. It’s shameful.

Many Spaniards oppose this cruelty. This year, animal rights activists from PETA UK and Spain’s Anima Naturalis joined forces to demonstrate against the barbaric practice. They stood in coffins (representing the 48 bulls that will be killed during the festival) to protest.

Photo credit: RAFA RIVAS/AFP/Getty Images
Photo credit: RAFA RIVAS/AFP/Getty Images

The San Fermin festival attracts thousands of tourists to watch the bull runs. Bull fighting is actually on the decline but tourism keeps it alive. When travelling, stay far away from bull fights and other forms of cruelty and vote with your dollar. Spain is a beautiful country so enjoy the scenery, hospitality, dance, art, architecture, nature and beaches instead.

Big step forward for chimps

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) just announced that it has accepted the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation of retiring over 300 of its chimpanzees. The US has been experimenting on chimpanzees for 90 years and is the last country in the industrialized world to do so.

Pumpkin, a 24-year-old chimpanzee at the Alamogordo Primate Facility, N.M.

The chimps’ similarity to humans makes them coveted for research, but it’s this very similarity that poses an ethical dilemma. Regardless of similarities, no animals should be used as research subjects, so it’s a great piece of news that most of the chimps will be retired.

The news is mixed though. Fifty chimps will remain with NIH. They won’t be bred, but that’s not enough. They also deserve to live out their lives at a sanctuary. Each one is an individual with unique traits and the right to live free from harm.

For more information, you can read the NIH press release and details at Chimpanzee Sanctuary NW.

AR Conf Sponsors

Animal Rights National Conference 2013

Did you know that we are going to the Animal Rights National Conference June 27-June 30, 2013 in Washington DC? It’s true! Well, not the whole board, or every NARN member, but one board member and hopefully some NARN supporters.

If you haven’t heard of this conference, then you’ll be astounded by its breath: 3+ days of content, networking sessions, 90+ speakers, an awards banquet, 80+ vegan vendors, movie screenings, amazing sponsors (see below), and more than 1000 attendees. Not to mention, one of my personal heroes, stand up comedian, Myq Kaplan. Check out the extensive program.

I’m personally most excited by the sessions that focus on new strategies and the psychology of social change. Here are some of the talks I plan to attend and hopefully bring back all sorts of smarts for NARN and our NW community:

  • Nature of Social Change: social progress through struggle, stages of social change, recognizing victory – with Alex Hershaft.
  • Developing Our Movement: mission and vision, structure, alignments, issues, leadership, communications – with Caryn Ginsberg and Alex Hershaft.
  • Managing a Local Group: volunteers, meetings, workload distribution, working with nationals, finances – with Debra Erenberg and Carolyn Merino-Mullin.
  • Running Effective Campaigns: objectives, tactics, resources, action plan, special events, assessment – with Caryn Ginsberg and Michael Webermann.
  • Winning Hearts and Minds: theory of changing behavior directly and by impacting feelings and beliefs – with Alex Hershaft and Will Tuttle.
  • When Is Collaboration Justified?: how far can we work with an organization with a different vision? – with Saurabh Dalal and Paul Shapiro.
  • Applying Direct Action: getting attention and changing behavior through economic & social pressure – with Brenda Shoss, Andy Stepanian (who I met at Let Live and totally respect), Erwin Vermeulen, and Peter Young.
  • Commonality of Oppression: commonalities in the oppression of animals, children, women, minorities – with Dr. Baruch Ben Yehudah, Elizabeth DeCoux, pattrice jones, and Lisa Kemmerer.
  • Lessons From Abroad: novel tactics from other countries – with Tobias Leenaert, Sharon Núñez, Yossi Wolfson, and Sebastian Zösch.
  • Advertising Our Message: newspapers, public transport, billboards, radio/TV, internet – with Erica Meier and Nathan Runkle, another personal hero from Mercy for Animals.
  • Maintaining Your Online Presence: websites, e-newsletters, blogs, FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube – with Caryn Ginsberg and Colleen Holland.
  • War on Animal Activism: repression of social activism by government and corporate interests – with Sarahjane Blum, Elizabeth DeCoux, Will Potter (YESSSSSS!! The best!) and Ryan Shapiro.

AR-Conf-Sponsors

I’m particularly drawn to the talks that include Dr. Alex Hershaft. Originally from Warsaw  Poland, Dr. Hershaft is the founder of FARM USA and a holocaust survivor. I think his story, his life, his dedication, and even his non-AR reputation are fascinating and I hope to get to meet him personally.

If you want to get  last-minute flight to DC and join me, please do! If not, comment below on the talks you want me to attend and blog about. I can also purchase the audio recordings of any session you want for $9, the key notes for $15 each, or the entire 3 day conference for only $150.