Category Archives: Campaigns

This is the parent category for all NARN campaigns

Pro-Animal Research Billboard Offers False Choice

As part of a national advertising campaign funded by the Foundation for Biomedical Research to get public support on the side of animal research, these billboards have been placed here in Seattle as well as other cities like LA and Portland. The FBR is a PR division of the National Association for Biomedical Research, of which the University of Washington is a member. The timing of these billboards is interesting, as it seems they were put up to rally citizens to their side in the face of the upcoming World Week for Animals in Laboratories, a week of international rallies and activities to show opposition to the institutions that confine, torture, and kill animals in the name of “science.”

This ad campaign is grossly misleading, as it presents to the public a false dichotomy, an artificial either/or scenario that suggests that animals have to die in order to save humans. Their claim that animals are integral and absolutely necessary to find cures are belied by the fact that there are many medical foundations that are working on cures for diseases without the use animals in their research. In fact, the use of animals prolongs the development of adequate procedures and treatments; animal physiology is different from that of humans’, requiring that humans models be used anyway for a treatment to be ultimately approved. Researchers get more money in grants by conducting animal testing, so there is little incentive for successful results or solid scientific design. Much of the research continues to be funded despite being redundant or inconclusive. And the animals suffer through torturous procedures, poor conditions, and poor treatment, with countless animals dying as a result, and an innumerable amount killed.

Biomedical researchers try to convince us that knowledge gained from animal studies can be extrapolated to humans yet their scientific papers reporting the results of research repeatedly include a disclaimer warning about making such an assumption. The difference in animal and human physiology means that many results of animal experiments are found to be inclusive, not applicable to human modality, or unreliable. The Food & Drug Administration recently reported that of all the drugs that tested safe and effective in animal testing, 92 percent are found to be either unsafe or ineffective in humans. Even drugs approved by the FDA because it was deemed safe under animal research can prove fatal because not enough adequate human research was conducted; the FDA estimated that 27,785 heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths between 1999 and 2003 occurred from the prescription arthritis drug Vioxx before it was recalled. How researchers can claim that animal research saves (human) lives is indicative of their own hubris and ignorance of the real consequences of their research.

Many effective non-animal methods are available, such as such as in-vitro cell and tissue cultures, micro-fluidic circuits, computer modeling, micro-dosing, the use of CAT, MRI, and PET scans, using human cadavers or organs, and clinical research. Extensive studies have to be conducted on humans regardless of the treatment or protocol anyway, so the use of animals can and should be skipped, which would allow the speedier development of treatments among human models.

The billboard also directs people to ResearchSaves.org, which offers an equally offensive command: “Against animal research? Please sign and submit this directive before you get sick or injured in order to insure you receive no medications, surgeries, treatments or disease therapies that have been tested or tried in research animals.

The logic of this imperative relies on the same simplistic reductive binary thinking. Using the same logic, we can then ask people: Against Nazis? Then you can’t drive a Volkswagen Beetle, developed by Hitler’s engineers to be the Jeep of the German army during WWII. Nor can you drive a Ford, who financed the Nazi party and helped secure its start. Nor can you drive a vehicle from General Motors, who by the mid-30s was totally committed to large-scale war production in Germany, producing trucks, tanks & armored cars. Against war and US military aggression? Then you can’t use microwaves, fly in planes that use jet engines, or use the internet, all technologies developed in the theater of war. The price of living in a modern industrialized society is that all of us, regardless of our individual beliefs, benefit from many things that came into existence from actions or institutions that we would otherwise not support. The idea, then, of directing some of us to give up the benefits of modern society without asking the same of themselves is just an example of inflated self-importance.

This is, of course, aside the fact that their claim of the treatments we have now came about because of animal research. It’s more accurate to say that we have as many treatments we have despite animal research. Human testing has always been the last line of research; animals are used initially simply because of economics. And because they are viewed as mere property, conditions to ensure their care are routinely neglected or circumvented, and less stringent oversight is given to invasive procedures. Every day, hundreds of lives are lost in service of projects that have seen no measurable progress; if cures are actually found, foundations, institutions, and researchers would loss valuable grant money. In the most cynical fashion, they sacrifice the lives of animals in pursuit of money, while telling the public that this circular game is necessary, using images of innocent children to win sentimental support.

The real answer to the question “Who would you rather see live?” is quite simple: both.

And it is possible and being proven every day among responsible researchers. Three U.S. agencies aim to end the archaic practice of animal testing, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Toxicology Program and the National Institutes of Health, realizing it is ineffective and wasteful. Non-animal-based research also is more ethical, as it doesn’t have the moral dissonance of taking one life in order to save another. One can only imagine how much further along the road to finding cures we would be if we hadn’t wasted billions of dollars, hours, and lives on animal testing that has proven unreliable or inconclusive. Animal research doesn’t save lives. It won’t save “her,” and we all know what happens to the “rat.”

Cross-posted at UWkillsAnimals.com

Vegan Breakfast Recipes

For those of you wanting to make a transition to a vegan lifestyle, breakfast can seem problematic. After being raised on a diet of sausages, scrambled eggs, pancakes, and the like, you may not know where to start; substituting soy-milk for milk is easy enough, but what if you are in the mood for an egg muffin sandwich? Vegan Coach has compiled a list of tried-and-true vegan breakfast recipes that are both healthy and fulfilling enough to jump-start your day, everything from French toast, vegan sausages, pancakes, and yes, even an all-vegan “egg” and “ham” muffin sandwich!

If you’re a scrambled egg lover, try the scrambled tofu recipe. You’ll love it, and after the third time, your taste buds will be accustomed to it and it’ll be your new scrambled eggs — and more enjoyable, since you don’t have to push out the dark thoughts about how the food ended up on your plate.

Finally, breakfast you’ll look forward to waking up for!

The Top Most Inspiring Vegan Recipes and Cooking Blogs

Greetings one and all!

Welcome once again. I hope that those of you who are with our Vegan Mentor Program have been able to continue on your path either on veganism or working towards it. One concern that some of you have mentioned is in finding vegan recipes that are not only easy, but also inspire you to be in the kitchen to cook. Popular food blog The Kitchn has compiled what they feel are the top 10 most inspiring vegan cooking blogs, with appealing layouts, beautifully presented photos that make you hungry just looking at them, and humor and character from the authors.

And The Kitchn has been featuring quite a few vegan recipes on their own, and they’ve also compiled what they feel are the top 25 vegan recipes from their own archives, from breakfast through dessert.

Take a look around and I guarantee you’ll find something which will inspire you to zip into the kitchen and break out those pots and pans! Happy cooking!

Give vegan cooking a kickstart!

With the start of 2011, NARN has rolled out a new campaign that we are excited about, the Vegan Mentor Program. Much effort has been made by many people to spread information and increase the awareness of the benefits of a vegan lifestyle, but there has to date been very little done to ensure that once people go vegan, that they stay vegan. So that’s where the Vegan Mentor Program comes in; once you pledge to be vegan, we will match you up with one of our Vegan Mentor volunteers who will give you personal one-on-one support on the practicalities and principles of veganism. They will give advice, lend an ear, and give you direction to resources that will help you overcome the inevitable hurdles along the way. Through this blog, we will also offer other hints and tips to help you stay vegan as well. They will be filed under the category “Vegan Mentor Program” to the right, so you can go through all the other posts we will create.

Now, obviously, the first concern of people who are new to veganism is what to make. In the kitchen, you’re likely accustomed to certain recipes, techniques, and habits, and cooking vegan meals may seem hard to plan for. Well, some of the hard work of figuring out what to make has been done for you! The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) has a 21-Day Vegan Kickstart program with easy recipes, shopping lists, and tips that you can use so you don’t have to fret about what to make each day. After the 21 days, you will have acquired a new routine of cooking vegan meals and you can be more confident branching out with planning your own meals, trying out new recipes, and experimenting more with a wider array of ingredients you’ve never had before. So check it out, and have fun in the kitchen!

9/19 Demo to Oppose Primate Research at the UW

Despite the rainy weather, the Demo to Oppose Primate Research at the UW went forward as planned on Saturday. Armed with 5 signs and 2 banners, I got to the corner of NE Pacific and Montlake just before 11am. I knew that the rain might keep some protesters away, so I found a spot just off of the sidewalk that gave me a good view of people walking by, and made me visible to passersby. While I waited for the other activists to arrive, I held a sign that read “Cruelty is Criminal” above a picture of a monkey looking through cage bars. Plenty of people walking by looked at my sign, and I couldn’t help but think they must have thought it was strange that I was the only one standing there with a sign.

After 15 minutes or so passed, no other activists showed up to join me, and I thought about leaving, but a middle aged man came up to me and said “I support what you are standing up for”. This comment pleasantly surprised me, and the rain had tapered off, so I decided to stick it out. Before too long, another man – a guy some might refer to as looking like a stereotypical football fan – approached me and said that he was glad that I was out there. I had been out there by myself for 30 minutes and the only reactions I had gotten so far were positive ones.

By the time 12:20 rolled around, I had distributed numerous leaflets, had a woman tell me that she worked near the UW’s Primate Research facility on Western, and my sign had been seen by hundreds of people. I truly felt that my time had been well spent, and despite the low turnout for the demo, it had been effective. One person can in fact make a difference.

I’ll be out there for the next UW Husky Football home game, to greet attendees with my sign and information about the horrible research that goes on behind closed doors at the UW. I hope this time others will be able to join me.

Work Party to Precious Life Animal Sanctuary

On Saturday August 29, a group of about 15 people who love animals took a trip to the Precious Life Animal Sanctuary in Sequim, Washington.  The Sanctuary, which is run by two dedicated animal lovers, Ralph and Caryl Turner, is the happy forever home to many animals.  The group of volunteers included families with children, a few dogs who enjoyed a day on the farm, and many hard-working folks who enjoyed the fresh air and outdoor activity.

We made sure the barn for the sanctuary’s only pig was clean and prepared with fresh hay. The kids and adults played with the newly rescued “baby” cow, who is already bigger than he thinks he is and when he rubs the top of his head on the legs of the volunteers, some of us had trouble staying on our feet!  But he was playful and gentle and clearly loved the attention.  We fed carrots and apples to the group of horses and shaggy burros, many of whom first required the humans to earn their trust.  Once we did, the beautiful animals rewarded the humans with affection and they allowed us to rub the soft parts of their noses!

The treat of the day was reconnecting with the 90 rabbits who were rescued from Greenlake and Woodland Park by Carrie and Mark.  The rabbits have a fortress of security to protect them from other animals, and they safely and happily ran and played in the thistle and grass while the workers tidied up their space and left carrots for their later enjoyment.

Thanks to all the volunteers and to the hospitality of Ralph and Caryl who provided an abundant lunch to all the volunteers!

Precious Life is often looking for volunteers to come up for a day and NARN will likely host another volunteer work party soon.  More information on the sanctuary may be found here:

www.preciouslifeanimalsanctuary.org



















Seattle Hempfest 2009

On August 21 and 22 marked the return of Seattle Hempfest, the largest cannabis policy reform event in the world. Now in its 18th year, the “protestival” attracts tens of thousands of people each day to listen to Hempfest’s reform messages amidst a festival atmosphere marked by music on multiple stages and numerous vendors. The picture-perfect day in a park setting overlooking the  blue waters of Elliot Bay and backed by the sun-glistened downtown Seattle skyline meant this year’s Hempfest was one of the busiest in recent memory.

NARN was right in the thick of it, spreading the message of extending compassion and self-determination to non-human animals, with a booth well-staffed by many talented and determined volunteer activists like Franziska, Isa, Ted, Rabbit, Chuck, Meredith, Nick, Dominique, Claudine, Shelly, Pete, Margaret, Michael & Wil. In the course of two days, we were able to distribute a personal record amount of vegan literature, restaurant guides and starter kits (over 2500!) to provide Hempfest attendees with the tools they need to transition to an animal-product-free lifestyle.

Thanks to our volunteers for the hard work they did in making this event a huge success!

Foie Gras Die-In, August 7

On Friday, August 7, The Northwest Animal Rights Network held a special edition of its continual campaign against the extreme cruelty of foie gras by flexing their ability with street theater. Chef Scott Staples was a particular target due to his stubborn stance in supporting animal cruelty despite our efforts on educating him on the egregious conditions that ducks are forced to undergo for a particular delicacy sought out by “foodies.” This Friday involved us staging our action at a sympathetic business, Healeo, a new place on Madison Ave that features conscientious food such as their popular vegan soft-serve ice cream. They were supportive of our prepping of signs, costumes, and more, in the midst of their space, and for that, we give them props.

After the preparations, we were ready to head out, with the flock of ducks that suffered under the cruelty that was imposed by a Scott Staples look-alike, brandishing a knife and an attitude that animals were his to use as he saw fit.

Just to show who’s boss, Chef Scott Staples look-alike menaced the tortured ducks:

After arriving to Quinn’s, the area where they offer the diseased engorged liver of ducks,  we staged a die-in, showing the public the the callous attitude towards animals that Quinn’s exhibits with a graphic reminder that the animals were once sentient beings that underwent horrible treatment before they ended up on the plates that garnered gourmet prices.

Thankfully, there are conscientious souls who recognize the cruelty that ducks go through to undergo the rarefied dish called “foie gras” and held a vigil for the souls that were sacrificed for it:

Granted, the scene was not pretty on the outside, but neither is the scene hidden from public view, the scene where ducks were made to undergo horrible cruelty in the name of gourmand tastebuds. One has to wonder whether the horror that the animals go through is really worth the momentary pleasure the flesh provides when it passes by the lips in mere seconds. People passing by were shocked at the scene, and shocked even more upon learning that area restaurants such as Quinn’s were supporting the kind of cruelty that people had thought had been extinguished in today’s modern age.

We encourage everyone to contact Quinn’s and let them know that their offering of foie gras is cruel and unnecessary, and it reflects badly on them their continued support of such an archaic product.

Summer Vegan Outreach: Folklife, U-District Street Fair, Furry 5k

NARN President Mark distributing literature while Chuck, Rabbit, Ted and Claudine staff the NARN table

Thanks to our fabulous and dedicated activists, NARN distributed over 2,000 Veg Restaurant Guides and Gudies to Cruelty Free Living at the Folklife Festival, the U-District Street Fair and the Furry 5k benefit for Seattle Animal Shelter.

Chuck leafleting like a pro at Folklife

At the NARN table, we had signs for our free Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurant Guides and many people excitedly came to us asking: “where is that Vegan Guide?  I want the vegan restaurant guide!” It’s always nice to know we’re helping people find delicious, cruelty-free dining options in Seattle – and helping animals in turn.

Kami and Heather holding down the fort!

Other passersby were excited to see the Free Veg Starter Kits, or to have the opportunity to pick up information for their son/daughter/niece/friend that has been a vegetarian or just turned vegan. And of course, the kids always love free stickers!

Mark and Carrie risking sunburn to give info to an interested passerby while Bryan looks on

We also parted with a good number of animal services guides, particularly at the Furry 5k. What a great way to reach people who already love their companion animals! Mark also ran the course in a jersey that read “Vegan Athlete” and NARN’s logo, then carried a sign for VegSeattle through the finish!

El Presidente Mark and the NARN van

It is very rewarding to have people thank us for being out there, and to feel as though we are providing a valuable service. It’s also a lot of fun to hang out with others devoted to promoting compassion for all animals.

This weekend, the fun continues at the Fremont Fair, where NARN will have a table in front of PCC. Come say hello!

Mark and Carrie pose while Rabit tries to look inconscpicuous. Sorry Rabbit, the glasses can't hide that shirt!

Foie Gras Campaign Update: Why is Quinn's Afraid of the Truth?

Several weeks ago, when NARN first began campaigning against Quinn’s Pub, Quinn’s owner Scott Staples told us that the foie gras he serves comes from Hudson Valley Foie Gras. In fact, he even said that he had personally visited the farm. But when confronted this week with a New York Times exposé about how Hudson Valley Foie Gras exploits its workers, Quinn’s story changed. Its sister restaurant, Zoe, also owned by Scott Staples even changed its website, which up until Sunday said that it served Hudson Valley Foie Gras. When there is a news story about the terrible conditions at Palmex, the supposed new supplier, will Quinn’s change its story again?