Category Archives: Activist Education

Black Lives Matter

In light of our poster making party for the Black Lives Matter Rally, and of course next week’s Black Lives Matter Rally on Nov 27th, we’d like to share, and encourage everyone to read, this blog post from the Vine Sanctuary:

If you are interesting in learning more, please check out this additional resources:

On All Lives Matter:

On Allyship:

On White Silence and 18 Daily Resolutions for White People to Fight Racism

On Systemic Racism (video)

UNITY, the film (and a special interview with director Shaun Monson)

In his new film, UNITY, writer/director Shaun Monson (the man behind EARTHLINGS) takes an in-depth look at what it truly means to be human. The film presents a message of love, tragedy and hope, all set against the backdrop of some of the most compelling 20th and 21st century footage imaginable.

It’s a one-night cinematic event, playing in multiple locations nationwide on August 12, 2015.

Watch the trailer
Get your tickets

UNITY features a dizzying array of 100 celebrity narrators including Ellen Degeneres, Kevin Spacey, Adrian Grenier, Joaquin Phoenix, Selena Gomez, Adam Levine, Pamela Anderson, Ben Kingsley, Common, Deepak Chopra, Geoffrey Rush, Dr. Dre, Zoe Saldana, Aaron Paul, Jennifer Aniston, Jeff Goldblum, Moby, Susan Sarandon.

We were lucky enough to interrupt Shaun Monson’s busy schedule for an interview.

NARN: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself (where you grew up, what you did before making documentaries, are you vegan and if so, what made you decide to go vegan? If you aren’t, why not)?

SM: I was born and raised in Southern California. I always wanted to be a movie director, but it was a difficult industry to break into. I got my first chance directing a public service announcement commercial. I have been a vegan for around 15 years. I became one after seeing footage of animals being slaughtered for food.

NARN: Why did you decide to make Earthlings? What did you hope to accomplish? Are you happy with its impact?

SM: I made the film Earthlings because at the time, I was not aware of any film that tackled all of the issues involving human abuse of animals for economic purposes. With the movie Earthlings, I hoped to accomplish awareness of this exact issue. I am happy with the impact. It outdid what I had expected the film to do.

NARN: Why did you decide to make Unity? What do you hope to accomplish with it’s release?

SM: Unity is an extension of Earthlings. Earthlings focuses on the achievement of one group of beings (mainly animals), while Unity focuses on the perception of all beings. Like the last question, I hope to accomplish increased awareness.

NARN: I really like that this movie mentions social justice and other systems of oppression in addition to animal exploitation. Can you say a bit about why those issues are important to you and why you wanted to include them in your movie?

SM: Any time we deal with dominion, it is because a group of beings oppress another for whatever reason. On the surface, it may be social justice, but at the core, they deal with the same problem–dominion and all of its forms.

NARN: What other animal- or environmental-related documentaries do you admire?

SM: I like all of them. I commend anyone who is making an effort to raise awareness of suffering, dominion, injustice and other related issues.

NARN: How widely will Unity be distributed? How can we see it? How can we convince all of our friends to see it?

SM: For starters, theatrical distribution will be worldwide. But, since only a small percentage of the world lives within driving distances of a theater that is playing it, another worldwide release will occur online in the fall. As for encouraging friends and family to see it–tell them that if they are to see one documentary this year, please let it be Unity.

NARN: How did you get all of those celebrities to narrate it?

SM: It started with one, then two, then four, then eight and so on. It kept on multiplying. It took many years–not just to record, but to edit together.

Please watch Unity in theaters tomorrow!

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.

NARN Member Grant to Attend the Animal Rights National Conference 2014

What: NARN wants to help a passionate animal activist who would have trouble affording the trip attend the Animal Rights National Conference in L.A. July 10-13, 2014. Learning from scholars and activists shouldn’t just be open to those who can afford it. Check out the incredible list of speakers from all over the world, from groups big and small, with a wide variety of perspectives and philosophies. There is something for everyone.


Who: Any current NARN member who is passionate about learning more about animal activism, animal liberation, animal rights, vegan outreach, intersectionality of oppression, and networking with fellow activists from around the world but who can’t easily pay for the cost of going. Preference will be given to applicants who have volunteered with NARN or shown some type of interest in activism already.

Funding: NARN will help cover the round trip flight from Seattle to LA, 4 nights hotel accommodations at the Westin LAX Hotel, 4 days of food, Event Registration Fee, and a ticket to the evening banquet. This package is worth approximately $1,100.

Deadline: May 2, 2014

Winner: NARN board members will score applicants based on five criteria as outlined in the application: 1. Amount of involvement with NARN, activism, or vegan outreach the applicant has already demonstrated 2. What they hope to gain from the conference 3. How they will bring what they learn back to the NARN community 4. Any unique background, ideas, or approach the applicant brings 5. Financial need.

Please apply! Hope to see you there!

Come to Animal Activism 101

Last year’s Animal Activism 101 workshop was such a hit, we’re doing it again!

If you’re new to activism, this is a great chance to learn about how to pick the right activities for your skills, strengths, and interests and how to actually get started.

If you’ve done some activism, but are new to the scene, we’ll share some tips, tricks, and best practices not only from NARN, but from other activists around the world.

We’ll talk about tabling, leafleting, demonstrations, writing, online activism, corporate campaigning, and using your unique talents and interests in making the world a better place for animals.

We’ll also talk about dealing with stress, the psychology of change, and how to be strategic in planning your activism, and how to deal with people on a personal level.

We want to build a strong community of NW vegans and animal activists. Let’s learn from each other, share what we know, support each other, and most importantly, be as effective as possible for the animals. The animals can’t wait. They need us now. Their future depends on our work!AR101

Sunday, February 9th, 2014
12:30 – 3:30 pm
Cascade People’s Center
309 Pontius Ave N, Seattle, Washington 98109

Please RSVP on Facebook (or email so we know how many snacks to bring. If you want to bring something to share, please let us know.

This is a FREE event.

To spend one’s life being angry, and in the process doing nothing to change it, is to me ridiculous. I could be mad all day long, but if I’m not doing a damn thing, what difference does it make?” ― Charles Fuller

Humane Lobby Day

When: Thursday, January 30th @ 8:30am – 4:00pm
Where: Department of Enterprise Services Auditorium
1500 Jefferson St. SE (Olympia, WA)

Washington’s animal advocates will soon fill the halls of the Washington State Department of Enterprise Services in Olympia for Humane Lobby Day 2014. You can be in on this exciting action, too! Join your HSUS state director Dan Paul for one day that can make all the difference for animals.

Don’t worry if you’re new to lobbying or are unfamiliar with the issues. What’s important is that you’re there. We’ll be there with you every step of the way.

What is Humane Lobby Day? It’s a one-day event in your state where you can meet with your elected officials and their staff about animal protection issues in Washington.

Why is your participation in Lobby Day so critical? We know legislators are most motivated when their constituents take time to meet face-to-face. It’s your chance to show how much animals mean to you.

Reserve your spot now for Humane Lobby Day 2014! Dan Paul is happy to help with additional questions:

If you’d like to attend this event you can RSVP online.

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.


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.

Film Screening: Maximum Tolerated Dose

Maxium Tolerated Dose Movie Poster


As part of National Primate Liberation Week, NARN and Seattle ADL will be bringing you a screening of the moving new documentary film, Maximum Tolerated Dose. Equal parts found-footage mash-up, verité investigation, and artful meditation, the film charts the lives of both humans and non-humans who have experienced animal testing first-hand, with hauntingly honest testimony of scientists and lab technicians whose ethics demanded they choose a different path, as well as the simultaneously heartwarming and heartbreaking stories of animals who have seen both sides of the cage. This film will help us re-ignite the debate about animal testing by bringing these rarely-heard perspectives to the fore.

Please check out the film trailer.

This free event is your opportunity to learn more about animal experimentation in the medical industry, think about the primates and other non-human animals in laboratories right here in our city, and most importantly, invite friends and family who haven’t thought twice about this issue. This meaningful and thoughtful film will leave you inspired by the honest and open conversations about what happens in laboratories. We may even have a special guest speaker! This is not an event to miss

Monday, Oct 8, 2012
7:30-9:30 PM
Odd Duck Studio – Capitol Hill
1214 10th Avenue Seattle, WA 98122 (near Union and 10th)


Bonus: As with all of the National Primate Liberation Week activities, every person who attends this screening will be entered into the drawing for the mega awesome vintage 1985 Animal Rights t-shirt showing the story of Britches, the famous baby macaque monkey rescued by the ALF.

See you there!


Let Live 2010: Community, compassion, and creativity

This year was my first time in attending the Let Live Conference, a yearly grassroots animal rights activist conference and forum from Portland’s Let Live Foundation. Over the course of the weekend, a wide array of workshops were held on many topics moderated by activists of note from all over the country. After meeting with many people that I admired and have known only through the world of social networks and blogs, had many engaging conversations, and heard many inspiring presentations, I returned home with my head bursting with ideas that I can’t wait to act upon.

Community was front and center, with the idea of building coalitions with many other movements. The way the workshops were arranged allowed plenty of room for interaction, participation, and sharing of views and opinions, and placed the role of the audience in the same level as the speaker(s). It focused on the grassroots; people who in their spare time do what they can to help others and create change. The conference also created space for social interaction, networking, and conversation to bring everyone together and to remind everyone of the common goal. The scale of the conference was impressive, as behind the scenes volunteers tirelessly manned tables, video-taped presentations, served food, and kept the conference humming along as the spotlight speakers helped others to help animals.

There were so many workshops I wished I could have attended, but since I am (still) rooted to the physical principle of not being able to occupy two places at once, I had to make some tough choices. As a relative newcomer to animal activism (3 years as a member of the Board of Directors for NARN), I chose the ones that I felt would be most useful for me personally to become a better activist. I took a lot of notes, and as I review them, many ideas are already formulating that I can apply in the coming months towards new campaigns, tactics, and creative approaches. Look for some action soon!

Very soon we will have a “What I Learned at Let Live” forum to bring those of you who weren’t able to attend together with those of us who did to spread the wealth of information and ideas, so stay tuned!

Legislation to Watch

Senate Bill 6566 (Prohibiting terrorist acts against animal and natural resource facilities.)
Introduced by Sen. Val Stevens, (R-Arlington) (R) on January 18, 2010, prohibits terrorist acts against animal and natural resource facilities and prescribes penalties

Senate Bill 6634 (Providing penalties for failure to comply with dairy farm record keeping.)
Introduced by Sen. Kevin  Ranker, (D) (D) on January 19, 2010, authorizes the department of agriculture to impose a civil penalty, not to exceed five thousand dollars in a calendar year, on a dairy producer for failure to comply with dairy nutrient management recordkeeping requirements

Senate Bill 6483 (Promoting natural wildlife planning management.)
Introduced by Sen. Jim Hargrove, (D-Hoquiam) (D) on January 15, 2010, requires the department of fish and wildlife to obtain specific legislative authorization before implementing a species management, recovery, or reintroduction plan that recognizes a method of propagation or dispersal other than natural propagation or dispersal