Category Archives: Issues

Dozens of crows drop dead in Portland

Someone in Portland poisoned dozens of crows a couple of weeks ago. On Wednesday, November 26, crows fell to the ground, suffering and in pain, and died in downtown Portland, Oregon.

Crow

Necropsies confirmed that the crows were all poisoned–all had poisoned corn in their stomachs.

The crows deserve justice–not only because they are beautiful, social, intelligent creatures, but because the poisoning is a Federal crime. It violates the Migratory Bird Treaty of 1918.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said they would investigation the crime if indeed poisoning was confirmed. The evidence needs to be presented to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The trouble is, it’s not often that crimes against wildlife are prosecuted.

Please help by asking U.S. Attorney S. Amanda Marshall to catch and prosecute the criminal(s) responsible for this horrible crime.

U.S. Attorney S. Amanda Marshall
1000 SW Third Ave Suite 600
Portland, Oregon 97204
(503)727-1000

Update On the Angora Action Alert

Remember this when you feel as if nothing ever changes, and nothing you do makes any difference: after receiving more than ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND emails from people demanding that they ditch angora, huge upscale French clothing company Lacoste has just confirmed that it is removing all angora wool products from its shelves and has requested to be added to the list of retailers that do not sell angora.  The list now includes Gap (which owns Banana Republic, Old Navy and Athleta), Express, Lands’ End, QVC, French Connection, Forever 21, New Look, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, H & M, Marks & Spencer, Limited Brands, IZOD, and Eddie Bauer.

How much does it cost you to write a few lines? Five minutes, maybe. If all of those one hundred thousand people had decided a five-minute letter/email was just too much to ask of them,  if all of them had thought, “It’s OK, someone else will do it” — nothing would have changed.  And let’s not forget the phenomenal courage of the undercover investigator who visited almost a dozen rabbit farms in China and documented the horrors. China supplies 90% of the world’s angora, yet has neither humane standards for the treatment of the rabbits nor penalties for abuse.

It’s not the war, true, but it’s a battle.

 

Food Giant Scared of Eggless Mayo

 

Look familiar? You have probably seen this and already tried it, wondering if it gets better than Vegenaise. (Does it? My vote is no, but that’s beside the point here.) You may also have heard that the food giant Unilever is suing the start-up company Hampton Creek, maker of this spread that tastes like mayonnaise but contains yellow peas instead of eggs (Whirled Peas! Literally!)  — hence the logo that depicts an egg with a pea shoot growing through it.  For us, the most important aspect of Just Mayo is that no one got hurt to make it.  The lawsuit contends that Hampton Creek is guilty of false advertising and fraud (because Unilever, which sells $60 BILLION worth of stuff worldwide under 1,000 different brand names, is SO concerned about false advertising) — and, the crux of the matter, is denting sales of its own mayonnaise products, marketed under the brand names Hellmann’s and Best Foods. (Wait, isn’t that how capitalism works?!)

By FDA regulations, mayonnaise contains egg yolks.  Just Mayo does not, it is true, but then it doesn’t call itself mayonnaise either. Also, considering Hampton Creek specifically markets the eggless-ness of Just Mayo, it can hardly be said to be creating false impressions.  Nevertheless, Unilever’s suit alleges it will suffer “irreparable harm” from Just Mayo, feigns concern that “consumers are being misled”, and demands damages of three times Hampton Creek’s profits, plus legal fees, plus the recall of all Just Mayo products and marketing materials, and a change in logo.

In the first 24 hours of the story going public, Hampton Creek received 18,000 messages of support.  Unilever and Hellmann’s were deluged by negative comments. And the media visibility for Just Mayo has been estimated at the equivalent of advertising worth $20+ million in just the first week after the lawsuit was filed. HA!

During that time Unilever was busy quietly cleaning a bunch of it’s own websites and product descriptions, which were found LIKEWISE not to conform to the rules it was trying to set for Just Mayo.

Just Mayo is already on the shelves in chains like Costco, Target and WalMart, and Hampton  Creek has also begun selling Just Cookies, an eggless, dairy-free cookie dough in four varieties. Will Keebler’s elves be lining up at their own lawyer’s office to accuse Hampton Creek of fraud in their use of the word “Cookies”??

Caroling at City Hall

Are you ready to sing for the elephants?

caroler

Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants will be caroling throughout City Hall to Christmas songs reworded to promote Bamboo and Chai’s retirement to a sanctuary.

As you may have heard, Woodland Park Zoo is closing their elephant exhibit and relocating the elephants. However, they are planning to send the girls to another zoo. They need to go to a sanctuary. The Mayor has the power to make that happen!

When: Monday, December 15th, 2014 from 10:45am to noon.
Where: Main lobby of Seattle City Hall, 600 4th Ave, Seattle, 98104.

The main lobby is at the 5th Avenue entrance between Cherry and James streets (or just go upstairs from the 4th Ave entrance).

Please wear ORANGE. Wear the t-shirt from previous actions or your own orange top.

Monsters Continue to Sell (and buy) Angora and Fur

Angora Rabbit Recap
It’s been more than a year since PETA released undercover footage of angora rabbits who had their fur violently ripped out by the fistful so that it could be used in sweaters and accessories. While numerous companies have acted ethically and responsibly by discontinuing angora sales after viewing the footage, fashion company BCBG Max Azria continues to profit from this cruel industry. BCBG also sells fur from Asiatic raccoons (also known as raccoon dogs)—animals who are often slammed to the ground and beaten on fur farms.

These animals need you now more than ever! Please call BCBG today at 877-707-2224 and urge it to stop selling angora and fur immediately! (Press 2 and speak to a customer service representative.)

Here’s an example of what to say: “I’m calling to urge you to stop selling angora and fur. As long as BCBG continues to profit from torturing animals, I won’t shop at your stores.”

(Action Alert courtesy of PETA; thanks)

Thinking Animals: A lecture series

Have you heard about the lecture series coming to UW in the new year?

Thinking Animals: Species, Power and the Politics of Care in the World is a four-part series being held at the Henry Art Gallery Auditorium at the University of Washington. The lectures are presented in partnership with the UW’s Critical Animal Studies working group.

If you’d like to learn more about the history, politics, and cultural dynamics of how humans see (or don’t see) animals, then grab a ticket for the series today!

For an in-depth review of the event, check out Christie Lagally’s article in City Living Seattle.

Single tickets for each event may be purchased for $20 at the door on the day of the event. The box office will open at 6:00 PM.

Speakers, Dates and Topics:

January 9: John Marzluff (School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, UW Seattle), “Welcome to Subirdia: Sharing our neighborhoods with wrens, robins, woodpeckers, and other wildlife.”

January 30: Wayne Pacelle (CEO of the Humane Society of the US), “Animal Protection in the 21st Century: Finding Clarity in Our Tangled, Contradictory Relationship with Animals.”

February 13: Kathryn Gillespie (Geography, UW Seattle), “The Cow with Ear Tag #1389: Species, Place and Power in U.S. Animal Agriculture.”

February 27: Lousia Mackenzie (French and Italian Studies at UW Seattle), “Thinking with Cats.”

March 6: María Elena García (Comparative History of Ideas and the Jackson School of International Studies, UW Seattle) and Tony Lucero (Jackson School of International Studies, UW Seattle), “Dancing Guinea Pigs and a Heroic Rottweiler: Animals, Culture, and Politics in Peru.”

All lectures start at 7 pm. For more information, please check out the Seattle Arts & Lectures page.

Vegan Thanksgiving Options

Being vegan doesn’t mean you have to give up Thanksgiving. In fact, a big portion of the dinner is probably vegan–or could easily be made vegan. As for the turkey? Swap out the carcass with a delicious vegan loaf!

When I think of Thanksgiving, I think of sharing precious time with family and friends. There’s no better way to show people how easy and delicious being vegan is. And if you can share your vegan food with others, they’ll know so much more about how to be vegan.

Here are some options for the holiday:

Host a dinner

Having dinner at your place guarantees you can make it an all-vegan meal and show others the joy of eating cruelty-free.

Mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, dinner rolls, soup, sweet potatoes, stuffing, and pumpkin pie are all dishes that are vegan or easily can be. Substitute butter and milk with dairy-free options and you’re set. You can find lots of vegan recipes online–even for things like gravy.

feast

Field Roast* and Tofurkey** make delicious prepackaged loaves that easily take the place of a turkey on the table. Doing an online search for “vegan turkey loaf” will return great recipes for a DIY version.

* Field Roast is made from seitan, a wheat gluten.
** Tofurkey is made from soy beans

Attend a dinner

There are two types of dinners I’ve attended. My favorite are ones hosted by vegans. I get to try all the food, and I get to spend time with like-minded people.

Attending a dinner with people who aren’t vegan is a great opportunity to bring a dish and show people that you can still enjoy holidays and that vegan food is awesome! If being around a slaughtered turkey is too disturbing, plan to arrive for dessert–with your favorite vegan sweets!

Go to a vegan restaurant

Sometimes vegan restaurants will offer a Thanksgiving meal. You’ll likely have to make reservations in advance, but it will be worth it. It’s also a great chance to take friends who still eat meat and show them vegan options.

vegan feast

No matter how you plan to celebrate the holiday, enjoy the vegan food!

 

Tell Skanska not to build a primate lab!

Have you called Skanza yet? Please join two groups–Don’t Expand UW Primate Testing and Portland Animal Liberation–for an important campaign to help animals.

skanska

From the campaign’s Facebook page:

Skanska USA is contracted to build the University of Washington’s new Animal Research and Care Facility, so it’s time to tell them to not build it! If they don’t build the lab, animals can’t be tortured in it — it’s that simple. So let’s show Skanska USA how simple it is.

You can take action right now by calling and emailing Skanksa USA to tell them to pull their contracts with UW. Let Skanska know that you and many more say NO NEW ANIMAL LAB!

CALL

Sample script:

“Hi, I’m calling to ask that you all not build the new Animal Research and Care Facility for the University of Washington. Please cut your contract with the UW. Thank you.”

Seattle Office Phone Numbers:
Main Office: 206-726-8000
James McReynolds, Senior Project Manager: 206-494-5489
Jay Weisberger, Director, Communications West: 206-494-5469
Jim Bradford, Project Superintendent: 206-616-1883
Dan Howell, Vice President of NW Operations: 206-494-5421

New York Headquarters Phone Numbers:
New York, NY, USA Headquarters: 917-438-4500
Queens, NY, Civil Headquarters: 718-340-0777
Parsippany, NY, Building Headquarters: 973-753-3500

* Even if the offices hang up on you, it’s important to call! Please be polite though so we can get an effective message across.

EMAIL

Sample script:

Dear [Skanska contact],

I am writing to express my concern and opposition to your involvement with the animal research industry. According to reports from the University of Washington, Skanska USA is scheduled to begin construction this April on the UW’s new Animal Research and Care Facility at 1450 NE Boat Street, Seattle.

The University of Washington’s history of using animals in research includes being fined by the USDA for allowing a primate to starve to death, citations for performing unauthorized experiments on primates, and evidence of primates engaging in self-mutilation. The UW uses and kills thousands of animals—primates, dogs, mice, pigs, rabbits, cats, and others—each year, even though animal labs throughout the world have been shutting down due to public pressure, citations for the abuse and neglect of animals, activists’ exposure of the horrific conditions of labs, and a realization that the future of science is in innovative methods that produce more accurate results than using animals.

If Skanska USA builds this new facility for the University of Washington, you will be entangling your company with the UW’s proven, and very public, record of animal cruelty. I implore you to break your contract with UW. Do not follow through with construction of the facility. Do not involve yourself with the animal research industry any further.

A company that claims to be committed to the environment should not dirty its hands with the blood and waste of vivisection.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Seattle Office Email Addresses:
jay.weisberger@skanska.com,
don.kowalchuk@skanska.com,
jim.bradford@skanska.com,
judy.gerber@skanska.com,
lew.guerrette@skanska.com,
peter.avratin@skanska.com,
james.mcreynolds@skanska.com,
chris.toher@skanska.com,
lisa.picard@skanska.com,
tony.taddeo@skanska.com,
dan.howell@skanska.com,
alan.dunbar@skanska.com,
phillip.goodman@skanska.com,
murphy.mccullough@skanska.com,
eric.temp@skanska.com,
mark.howell@skanska.com,
kevin.mccain@skanska.com,
brian.smedley@skanska.com,
jamie.armintrout@skanska.com

New York Headquarters Email Addresses:
michael.mcnally@skanska.com,
bill.flemming@skanska.com,
richard.cavallaro@skanska.com,
mats.johansson@skanska.com,
karl.reichelt@skanska.com,
larry.casey@skanska.com,
richard.aquino@skanska.com,
nicole.didda@skanska.com,
andre.lofgren@skanska.com,
catherine.pfeiffenberger@skanska.com

Visit NoNewAnimalLab.com for more information or contact info@nonewanimallab.com

 

 

Tell the UW Regents: No new animal labs

Please join the people at “Don’t Expand UW Primate Testing” for a phone and email action.

All week, from November 9th through 13th, people are needed to call the Regents at UW. Here are details from the Don’t Expand US Primate Testing Facebook event:

UW Regents

In what appears to be an attempt to try to get around Don’t Expand UW Primate Testing’s lawsuit against the University of Washington Board of Regents for a secret decision to approve a new Animal Research and Care Facility, the Regents’ agenda for their Regular Meeting this week includes: “Approve Construction of the ARCF Project at the Preferred Site Underneath Portage Bay Vista.”

Leading up to the Regents’ last vote on the animal lab, people called and emailed them at the Regent phone number and email address. But since that time, we have learned that the Regents did not get those messages. Rather than take the time to learn about people’s concerns about the lab, the Regents let their office just pass the messages over to the UW’s animal research department to send their biased replies to people.

So leading up to the Regents’ vote on the new lab this week, we’re going to make sure that they hear from the concerned public. Please call and email them at their direct phone numbers and email addresses to tell them that they need to do their jobs and actually learn about all the reasons to NOT approve construction of a new animal research facility, and ask them to vote NO on building the new facility.

Remember to keep your calls and emails polite and on point! After you call and email, please post about what the response was!

Board Chair, William S. Ayer
Call: 425-641-9976

Board Vice Chair, Patrick M. Shanahan
Email: patrick.m.shanahan@boeing.com

Board President, Kristianne Gates Blake
Email: kristib@ptera.net, kristib@msn.com

Jeremy Jaech
Email: j_jaech@hotmail.com

Rogelio Riojas
Email: rogelioriojas@seamarchc.org

Marnie Brown
Email: stureg@uw.edu
Contact her through Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marnie.brown.39

Joanne R. Harrell
Email her husband, Seattle City Council member Bruce Harrell: bruce.harrell@seattle.gov

Regent Office Info
Phone: 206-543-1633
Email: regents@uw.edu

Regent Staff Info
Email: joangold@u.washington.edu

UW President Office Info
Phone: 206-543-5010
Email: pres@uw.edu

UW President Staff Info
Email: rolfbj@uw.edu, jcjmail@uw.edu, rachelno@uw.edu

Has Daiya Betrayed Us?

daiya

Daiya (pronounced Day-ah) Foods, Inc. has been our cheesy savior since 2008, when it was founded as a “vegan cheese company”.  Its shreds, slices, wedges, cream cheese and most recently, pizza,  have made the conversion to veganism easier for a lot of people, as well as making the vegan version of conventional foods more familiar. Daiya is probably what most of us are thinking of when someone says, “Oh, I could never do without the cheese!” and we say, “You don’t have to!” Daiya cheese is made from cassava and arrowroot and contains no animal products. It has received multiple awards, including from VegNews and PETA. Its founders, Andre Kroecher and Greg Blake, are vegans, and the company was never been shy about using the word VEGAN.  Ethical and successful…wow.

Trouble is, for some time now non-vegan things have been sneaking in. Not that your Daiya pizza now secretly contains bacon, or that beef fat is being surreptitiously added to your cheddar shreds, but references to meat, and recipes containing meat have begun surfacing on the Daiya website and Facebook page, and a subtle verbal shift away from “vegan” (with its ethical connotations) and towards “dairy-free” (now referring to human health and food allergies) has taken place.

To begin with, this passed largely unnoticed.  However, as the news has become more widely disseminated, a growing number of vegans find this seriously offensive.  A vegan cheese company, founded by vegans, promoting recipes that contain beef, turkey, ham, fish, and eggs?  Four hundred-odd people have ‘liked’ the Boycott Daiya FB page. This does feel like a betrayal. A abolition-vs-welfare kind of betrayal. We had decided Daiya was abolitionist and they turn out to be welfarist. Or worse. Since we all know with gut-wrenching clarity that a ham roll-up or seafood salad is not … NOT… just a “food choice”.  However.

Having reached all the vegan world, was Daiya’s growth as a vegan cheese company, while little short of meteoric, pretty much limited to the growth of the number of vegans?  Would we would prefer them to remain small and ethical, rather than become huge at the expense of any compromise with suffering?  And this is where the abolition-vs-welfare thing comes in. As we know, even though about 2/3 of the human population is lactose intolerant, this does NOT stop them eating cheese.  While we are all abolitionists at heart, would we prefer they eat real cheese and get upset stomachs (yes, I know, we don’t care about that bit) or Daiya and don’t?  Isn’t every bag of Daiya shreds (which, just fyi, do not contain palm oil, although some of the other Daiya products do) bought better than a bag of real shredded cheese? As a very large and successful company, would Daiya have the power to effect more change for the better than a relatively small and insignificant one?  Is Daiya poised to become the next Silk? Just thoughts. And I haven’t finished thinking this one through yet.  For what it’s worth (likely not a whole bunch) company spokespeople profess injured innocence:

“We are sorry for offending you. That was certainly not our intention. Here at Daiya, we simply try to provide resources and recommendations (which include our many user-submitted recipes) that might appeal to the many different people who love our products.”

For more info about the boycott, visit: https://www.facebook.com/daiyahurtsanimals?fref=nf

and to tell Daiya what you think, https://www.facebook.com/daiyafoods