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.

In-vitro meat makes a debut

Here’s some food for thought: If the main reason for choosing a vegan lifestyle is to reduce suffering, what do you think about in-vitro meat?test tubes

The New York Times recently reported about a hamburger grown in a laboratory from muscle tissue. This in-vitro, or cultured, meat doesn’t require the water, grain, land, transportation, and slaughter of an animal.

The sample being worked on at the moment isn’t vegan–it’s origins are animal in nature (cow stem cells). But future versions could be grown from non-animal sources.

This still sounds like science fiction, and I’ll stick by the loads of scientific findings that meat of any kind isn’t healthy. But if people don’t stop eating meat, perhaps they could gravitate toward in-vitro meat and bypass factory farms.

Demo at the UW National Primate Research Center

This past Saturday NARN held a demo outside the UW National Primate Research Center. The demo was organized to coincide with World Week for Animals in Labs.

The Blue Building

Hidden inside this dark, unmarked, sunless building, 700 primates live and die for research, subjected to painful surgeries and traumatic procedures until their usefulness is over. The Blue Building at 3000 Western Ave is the main facility for the UW National Primate Research Center, the largest of eight across the country.

About a dozen of us spent a few hours with signs and fliers and shared info with passers-by. Many people were shocked to learn that wasteful and cruel experiments were happening in their neighborhood. The beautiful sculpture park is across the street, and no one suspects cruelty is around them.

protesting animal cruelty

The University of Washington spends millions of taxpayer dollars conducting needless tests that haven’t resulted in any contribution to humans or animals. Harvard recently decided to close its primate research center and it’s time for UW to do the same.

The UW has even been cited with safety and cruelty violations including letting a monkey starve to death, and performing unauthorized surgeries. The UW breeds monkeys and removes babies from their mothers soon after they’re born.

WWAIL Demo

We demo to let the public know about these atrocities but we also demo to let animal abusers know their deeds aren’t going unnoticed.

 What can you do?

Please send a polite letter requesting the UW reevaluate its policies regarding animal experimentation and commit to long-term reduction of the use of any animals for science.

Michael Young, President
301 Gerberding Hall, Box 351230
Seattle, WA 98195
206-543-5010
pres@uw.edu

The University of Washington Board of Regents
139 Gerberding Hall, Box 351264
Seattle, WA 98195-1264
206-543-1633
regents@uw.edu

If you’re a UW grad, you can also contact the alumni association and tell them that you won’t join them (or that you’ll be cancelling your membership) unless the university agrees not to use live animals in their research.

UW Alumni association
Box 359508
Seattle, WA 98195-9508
206-543-0540 or 1-800-AUW-ALUM
Fax: 206-685-0611
uwalumni@uw.edu

If you attend or are employed by the UW you can anonymously report any incidents or patterns of abuse or neglect of animals in the care of the university. Provide as detailed observations as you can, with dates, locations, animals involved, their serial numbers (if possible) the condition of the animals, and what incidents occurred to uwkills@narn.org.

We will protect your identity and initiate the investigation. You can also contact us to let us know what experiments are going on, who the researchers are, and what the animals go through. If you’re a student, please join or volunteer for Campus Animal Rights Educators (CARE) at the UW campus.

Harvard announces closure of primate research center

Press release reprinted from Stop Animal Exploitation Now.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Contact: Michael Budkie, SAEN, 513-575-5517 513-703-9865 (cell)

Harvard Announces Closure of Primate Research Center; Watchdog Group Applauds Move; Calls for Retirement of Primates

BOSTON/SOUTHBOROUGH, MA – Harvard Medical School has issued a statement announcing that the New England Primate Research Center will be closing within 24 months.

Harvard’s New England Primate Research Center has been embroiled in an ongoing controversy following the negligent deaths of at least 4 primates. The facility is currently under investigation by the USDA and faces a potentially major federal fine for multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

“Harvard wants the public to believe that this closure is due to economics,” said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director, SAEN (Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!). “That is simply not true. The only way Harvard could quash this scandal is to close the primate center, because even last year’s resignation of the Center’s Director could not end their ineptitude. This closure is the direct result of pressure from activists led by SAEN.”

“The closure of Harvard’s Primate Research Center is the best news I have ever heard,” added Budkie. “The potential exists to bring freedom to many monkeys and to redirect millions of dollars into clinical and epidemiological research which will more directly benefit humans.”

SAEN has announced plans to contact the Harvard Medical School’s administration to explore the possibility of placing at least some of the primates in sanctuaries.

“These primates have suffered enough,” added Budkie. “They deserve a chance to have a new life in another environment where their needs will be put first.”

World Week for Animals in Labs

We’re in the middle of World Week for Animals in Labs (WWAIL). April 20th to 28th is a week filled with demonstrations and events to educate people about the horrors of animal testing and about how needless it is, and to let researchers know that they are accountable for the cruelty they inflict on innocent animals.

Animal research is not advancing the medical industry or helping to cure disease. Real progress comes from other models such as genomic tests, human cell cultures, medical imaging and clinical trials.

wwail bunny

In observation of WWAIL, NARN will be holding a demo in front of the University of Washington Primate Experimentation facility at 3000 Western Avenue in Seattle, WA. Please join this Saturday, April 27th from noon to 2 pm and help educate passers-by about what goes on behind the walls of the “Blue Building.”

Hidden inside this dark, unmarked, sunless building, 700 primates live and die in the name of research. They are subjected to painful surgeries and traumatic procedures until their usefulness is over. The building is the main facility for the UW National Primate Research Center, the largest of eight across the country.

NARN will supply signs and leaflets, but you’re also encouraged to make your own creative signs. Questions? Email info@narn.org

For more information, check out http://uwkills.wordpress.com/.

California ag-gag bill pulled

Ag-gag bills have been popping up around the country. The bills would criminalize whistle-blowers who capture video in factory farms and slaughterhouses.

The California bill would have required anyone who records an incident of animal cruelty to turn the evidence over to the authorities within 48 hours. That would make it impossible to build a case, or show a pattern of continued abuse, which is what’s usually needed to prosecute animal cruelty.

Fortunately for now, the California bill is dead. Its author pulled the bill because it faced strong opposition from animal rights groups, food safety organizations, environmental organizations, labor unions and people fighting to protect the first amendment.

If ag-gag bills are passed, even journalists who end up in possession of undercover factory farm footage are at risk of being prosecuted. The bill isn’t good for anyone except the people who make cruelty their business and want a free pass to do whatever they want behind closed doors.

The failure of this bill is another excellent example of how we need to speak up and let lawmakers know when we don’t agree with what’s happening around us. A strong, unified voice does make a difference for animals, the environment, and people.

British government to ban wild animals in circuses

December 1, 2015 will be a great day for wild animals. That’s the day British circuses will no longer be allowed to use wild animals in their shows.

This is a great example of how politicians and animal rights activists can be allies and partners. Both groups have worked tirelessly on this issue for some time and it’s a definite victory for animals.

tiger in circus by Shizhao

Animals that are normally domesticated are excluded from the ban, mainly because supporters of the ban were worried about legal action from circus owners if all animals were excluded.

Strict guidelines for how animals are used in the circus have already gone into effect. The December 2015 timeline might seem a long way off but it’s meant to give operators a chance to make arrangements for their wild animals.

Ideally, they’ll be rehomed in sanctuaries where they will be free from the abuses and stress of the circus.

Here in Washington, Ringling Brothers still bring animals to Everett and Tacoma. We’ll be demonstrating at their events until that changes. Animals do not belong in the circus.

“Do what’s best for the elephants”

Yesterday, The Seattle Times published an editorial opinion piece by David Hancocks, former director of Woodland Park Zoo. His message: Elephants at the zoo are suffering. These complex social creatures cannot have even their basic needs met in a zoo environment.

Thanks to The Seattle Times and letters from the people of Seattle, the plight of Watoto, Chai, and Bamboo is getting attention from decision-makers.

Watoto the elephant pacing in a cage

Unlike their wild counterparts, elephants in captivity do not thrive. Their lifespans are shorter, their natural social bonds are severed, and they are deprived of the enriched environments they need to keep physically and psychologically well.

Elephants are active animals and travel miles and miles every day. In Woodland Park zoo, they have a measly acre to pace in—when they’re let outside.

The elephants at Woodland Park Zoo deserve to be released to a sanctuary. The wheels are in motion. Public opinion is changing and people are siding with the elephants. It’s time, in the words of Mr. Hancocks, to “do what’s best for the elephants.”

Please write to the zoo at:

Woodland Park Zoo, 601 N. 59th Street, Seattle, WA  98103
Email: woodlandparkzoopr@zoo.org and zooinfo@zoo.org

Address letters to:

  • Dr. Deborah B. Jensen, President and CEO
  • Bruce Bohmke, Chief Operations Officer
  • Jamie Creola, VIce President of Education
  • Dr. Darin Collins, Director of Animal Health
  • Dr. Nancy Hawkes, General Curator
  • Valerie Krueger, Director of Finance
  • David Schaefer, Director of Communications & Public Affairs
  • Gigi Allianic, Media and Public Relations

Also please write the mayor, your city council member, and especially Sally Bagshaw the Parks Committee Chair.

Mike McGinn, Mayor
mike.mcginn@seattle.gov, 206-684-4000

Sally Bagshaw, Seattle City Council, Parks Committee Chair
sally.bagshaw@seattle.gov, 206-684-8801

Richard Conlin, Seattle City Council, Council President
richard.conlin@seattle.gov, 206-684-8805

Sally J. Clark, Seattle City Council
sally.clark@seattle.gov, 206-684-8802

Nick Licata, Seattle City Council
nick.licata@seattle.gov, 206-684-8803

Bruce Harrell, Seattle City Council
bruce.harrell@seattle.gov, 206-684-8804

Tim Burgess, Seattle City Council
tim.burgess@seattle.gov, 206-684-8806

Jean Godden, Seattle City Council
jean.godden@seattle.gov, 206-684-8807

Tom Rasmussen, Seattle City Council
tom.rasmussen@seattle.gov, 206-684-8808

Mike O’Brien, Seattle City Council
mike.obrien@seattle.gov, 206-684-8800

Deborah Jensen, Woodland Park Zoo President
deborah.jensen@zoo.org, 206-548-2416

Or send a letter to each of the above council members at the following address:
[Name of Councilmember]
Seattle City Hall
P.O. Box 34025
Seattle, WA 98124-4025

Or fax them at 206-684-8587.

You can learn more about the elephants at the zoo and the efforts to release them to a sanctuary, at Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants.

Protesting the fur industry

Have you ever seen anti-fur demonstrations downtown Seattle?

Anti-fur demonstrators at Nordstrom

If you’re walking past Nordstrom and you’re offered an anti-fur leaflet, here’s why:

Nordstrom continues to sell fur despite the cruel nature of the industry. As long as fur is sold at Nordstrom, Action for Animals will continue to organize demonstrations outside the department store. NARN members frequently join AFA at the demos to shed light on the horrors that millions of animals endure in the name of fashion. Farmed fur animals gassed, poisoned, or genitally electrocuted. Wild-caught animals suffer for days in traps and break bones and teeth trying to free themselves.

We want Nordstrom to know that it’s unacceptable to sell fur, and we want to let consumers know about the barbaric practices they’d support if they buy fur.

The good news is, fur is completely avoidable. If you think suffering and death is too high a price to pay for fashion, you’ve got choices. There are a lot of retailers who don’t sell fur. There’s even a list to help you shop with your conscience.

So if you see AFA and NARN outside Nordstrom, say hi or join in! We appreciate your support. While you’re at it, tell Nordstrom you won’t shop there until they stop selling fur. Here’s a petition you can sign and a sample letter.

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

Time for the Elephants at Woodland Park Zoo

After years of diligent work, the Friends of the Woodland Park Zoo Elephants have still not gotten the zoo to even consider releasing Bamboo, Chai and Watoto to a sanctuary – making it clear that the zoo leadership cares more about revenue than the lives of the elephants themselves.

Elephants are genetically wired to spend up to 20 hours a day roaming across hundreds of miles. At Woodland Park Zoo (WPZ) the elephants must share less than a single acre of outdoor space. Depriving Bamboo, Chai and Watoto of adequate space causes them serious mental and physical harm.

In the wild elephants live in tropical and subtropical regions. Seattle’s cold climate forces the elephants indoors for an unacceptable amount of their lives. Bamboo, Chai and Watoto are locked in small barn stalls, barely able to move, for 16 to 17 hours a day for nearly 7 months of the year.

The elephants suffer from painful arthritis and bouts of colic. Chai and Bamboo endure chronic foot infections—the leading cause of death in zoo elephants—caused by lack of space. A complex social life, critical to elephants’ well being, is denied them and Watoto, the lone African elephant, is frequently kept in solitary confinement. All three elephants display neurotic repetitive behavior caused by high levels of stress and boredom—including pacing, swaying, and head bobbing.

Watoto indoors

Finally someone else has taken notice: The Seattle Times has published a story about the lives that these beautiful creatures face behind our bars: http://seattletimes.com/elephants. The article focuses on the horrific attempts for zoos to create more baby elephants, because they create such huge draws of patrons. More than 100 artificial insemination for the two girls. It also shares how zoos “train” these wild creatures.   Please read the piece and share this story with your friend and family who still support zoos so they can understand the cruelty behind their summer visits. Make sure that you and your family all write letters to the zoo asking them to release the elephants and put the elephants lives ahead of profit.

Now is this time. With this very public article,  the tragedy of captive elephants is revealed, but the zoo must hear from us too. They must become stewards of compassion for animals. Please:

Write to:  Woodland Park Zoo, 601 N. 59th Street, Seattle, WA  98103

Email: woodlandparkzoopr@zoo.org and zooinfo@zoo.org

Address letters to:
Dr. Deborah B. Jensen, President and CEO
Bruce Bohmke, Chief Operations Officer
Jamie Creola, VIce President of Education
Dr. Darin Collins, Director of Animal Health
Dr. Nancy Hawkes, General Curator
Valerie Krueger, Director of Finance
David Schaefer, Director of Communications & Public Affairs
Gigi Allianic, Media and Public Relations

Thank you for taking time out of your weekend to make a difference!