Category Archives: Activist Rights

Where do Washington State candidates stand on animal issues?

Washington Alliance for Humane Legislation/Save Washington Pets has created a handy guide listing 81 candidates and their views on animal welfare bills. Have a look at the survey results so you can help influence future legislation.

A total of 265 candidates are running for 123 open seats in the state legislature. The August 5th primary election will narrow this field of candidates to the top two contenders in each competitive race. The top two, and all candidates running unopposed, will move on to the November general election.

Before you vote in the August primary election, consider where the candidates running for office in your district stand on animal welfare issues.

Without animal-friendly candidates elected to our state legislature, it can be nearly impossible to pass legislation that supports animal welfare. It can also be very difficult to stop bills detrimental to animal welfare from becoming law.

Please take a few minutes today to review the results of the Washington Alliance for Humane Legislation survey of candidates on animal welfare issues.

The report (PDF) is here. (Please be patient when downloading the file–it’s large.) Look for responses from candidates in your legislative district. Click here to find your legislative district.

Candidates state their positions on several issues, such as:

  • Strengthening the laws defining animal cruelty.
  • Providing police and animal control officers the authority to rescue animals confined in extreme temperatures (e.g., hot cars).
  • Limiting the sale of animals in public places by unlicensed sellers (such as roadside animals sales).

Please use caution in judging candidates who did not respond to the survey.

About two-thirds of the candidates running for state legislative offices did not respond to the survey. Many of the non-respondents are incumbents running for re-election who are known to be strong supporters of animal welfare legislation based on their voting records. Similarly, other non-respondents are known to be less supportive of animal welfare legislation based on voting records. Please contact your candidates directly if you need further information on their positions on any animal welfare issues

Do you have questions on the survey? Contact Rick at rick@savewashingtonpets.org.

Thanks to Save Washington Pets for the info in this post!

Meatout 2014

March 20th is Meatout Day. Will you pledge to go meat-free for the day?

MOwomen

Of course it’s best (for the animals, your health, and the environment) to be meat-free every day, but we all started somewhere.

If you can go meat-free for a day, you can try it once a week. Soon, you’ll have so many recipe ideas and confidence that you can ditch meat, eggs and dairy for good.

URGENT: CALLS AND EMAILS NEEDED AGAINST IDAHO'S AG-GAG BILL

Every minute, every single call, counts! Idahos’s terrible ag-gag bill is on the way to the governor’s desk.

PLEASE email and  call the office of Idaho’s Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter… Let  him know the whole country is watching regarding Idaho’s ag-gag bill.  Tell him, politely, that no state should affirmatively support animal abuse or make it a crime to report animal abuse — we need to move in the opposite direction, and support compassionate and humane farming and freedom of speech (First Amendment of the Constitution). Crimes should be seen and punished, not hidden and enabled.

 I realize many of us do not believe in compassionate and/or humane farming, and most of us want NO slavery rather than just better CONDITIONS, but because a big argument being used in support of this bill is that its opponents want to see animal agriculture eliminated entirely, IT IS CRITICAL THAT ALL CALLS APPEAR TO COME FROM RESPECTABLE CITIZENS WHO “SUPPORT HUMANE FARMING AND FREEDOM OF SPEECH”.  For a better understanding and more information on what transpired at the Idaho House Agriculture Affairs Committee hearings, see

lhttp://www.foodsafetynews.com/2014/02/idaho-house-agriculture-affairs-committee-recommends-do-pass-for-ag-gag-bill/

Email contact and phone information for the governor is (all three would be great!):

Help pass a spay/neuter assistance program

Here’s a way to help overpopulation issues with companion dogs and cats: Ask Your State Senator to Vote YES on SSB 5202, the Companion Animal Spay/Neuter Assistance Bill.

Substitute Senate Bill (SSB) 5202 would create a statewide companion animal spay/neuter assistance program to help people with low incomes get free or very low-cost spay/neuter surgeries for their dogs and cats. The bill would also fund spay/neuter surgeries for feral and free-roaming cats.

SSB 5202 replaces the original bill, orange kitten in a barnSB 5202, which attempted to raise funds from the sale of pet food across the state. The pet-food fee funding part isn’t in this bill; it’s been replaced with a voluntary contribution of up to $1 per pet license from communities that license pets.

Please contact your state senator by phone or email and ask him or her to vote for SSB 5202 in the senate.

Your state senator can be contacted by filling out the comment form on the bill. It’s quick and easy. Be sure to click the buttons asking for a reply from your senator.

Here are some tips to help you write a clear message:

  • Ask your senator to encourage other senate leaders to schedule SSB 5202 for a vote on the senate floor.
  • Ask your senator to vote for SSB 5202.
  • Tell your senator that the bill will help reduce the amount of money homeless animals cost our cities and counties, and will help end the deaths of thousands of dogs and cats in our state’s shelters.
  • Tell your senator why the bill is important to YOU and others in your community.

It’s really effective to also call your senator’s office asking for a “yes” vote on SSB 5202, Companion Animal Spay/Neuter Assistance. You will find your senator’s phone number in this list.

Thanks to Save Washington Pets for the info listed here. If you have questions, please contact them at info@savewashingtonpets.org.

Unglamour shots: Posing with wild animals

What’s wrong with this picture?

cougar

Five points if you said my mullet! Ten if you said the lion cub in my lap.

As a teenager in the 80s, I thought nothing of this. I was in the mall with my brother, a makeshift studio was set up in a corner of an open area, and I got to pick which baby animal I wanted to pose with.

I never thought to question the obvious: Where is this cub’s mother? Why is he being carted around from mall to mall for photos instead of being in his natural environment? Is there a danger to humans? What will happen to him when he’s too big and unruly to be cuddly?

Sadly, animals like this are still being exploited in malls, fairs, and at roadside zoos, and yes, you too can pay for a photo op.

When these babies are too big, they end up at shoddy roadside zoos, in the pet trade, in canned hunts, or killed for their meat.

The best thing you can do is never pay for a picture with a wild animal. The Humane Society has a campaign against primates, tigers, lions, and bears being used in photo sessions. These sessions with the public fuel the exotic pet trade, puts animals at risk, and endangers the public.

Please sign it and learn from my mistake. Wild animals are not stuffed toys. Whether at home or abroad, vote with your dollars and say no to animal exploitation.

Sign the petition here

Evergreen Health offers employees tickets to the circus

We recently found out that Evergreen Health, a group of urgent- and primary care facilities on the Eastside, is offering discounted circus tickets to their staff as a “perk.”

It’s quite possible that Evergreen doesn’t know how cruel the circus is and how, for example, they beat and torture baby elephants into submission with bull hooks and electric prods in order to get them to perform.

baby elephant being abused

Please contact Evergreen, and inform them politely that circuses with animal acts are cruel. Please ask them not to support the circus by buying or subsidizing tickets.

General Contact form: https://www.evergreenhealth.com/about_evergreen/contact_us/

Board of Commissioners: commissioners@evergreenhealthcare.org

Media Relations: Kay Taylor, Vice President, Marketing & Communications
Office phone: (425) 899-2604
Cell phone (303) 514-5326
Email: KTaylor@evergreenhealth.com

Human Resource Department:
Office phone: (425) 899-2511
(Since this is an employee “perk” it may have been approved or initiated by this dept.)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/evergreenhospital.org
(For those who want to post on their page or send them a note)

Twitter: @evergreenhosp
(for sending them a message, or tweeting and including them)

Watch this video and hear what actor Edie Falco (also known as Nurse Jackie) has to say about the circus:

edie_video

First Ag-Gag Challenge Filed

This week (Monday 22 July) marked the first lawsuit against ag-gag laws. The Animal Legal Defense Fund, PETA, environmental journalist Will Potter and animal rights activist Amy Meyer filed a civil lawsuit on Monday contesting the constitutionality of a Utah law that bans recording at an agricultural facility without the owner’s consent. In February of this year, Meyer became the first person charged under an ag-gag law, after she filmed a downed cow at a slaughterhouse while standing on a public sidewalk. Charges were later dropped.

The lawsuit alleges that the Utah law violates the Constitution, as it singles out certain types of speech for less protection under the First Amendment. It would also single out certain types of investigative reporting as illegal. Although its primary purpose is to put a lid on political debate over factory farming by preventing the public from finding out about the inherent animal cruelty, it could also impact food safety measures and apply to the filming of unsafe working conditions or bad employment practices.

A total of 8 states now have ag-gag laws. Proponents argue that this is a private property issue. They are right, of course. At issue is their private property: money.

 

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!

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.

Chimps to make federal endangered species list?

The US Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing that chimpanzees in the US be added to the federal endangered species list. The Washington Post published an article that explains the current situation and how changing the listing for captive chimps will help their plight.

creative commons Thomas Lersch

Right now, wild chimps are listed as endangered while their captive cousins are listed as only threatened. This differentiation lets people breed, sell, ship, and experiment on captive chimps in the US. Adding captive chimps to the endangered species list would change that and would help chimps in zoos, circuses, and in the entertainment industry.

Changing their status will prevent chimps from being used in invasive medical testing procedures and from being taken across state lines. It would also ban international commerce of chimps.

The Humane Society, Chimpanzee Sanctuary NW, and the Jane Goodall Institute all back the proposal.

Read the press release from Chimpanzee Sanctuary NW.

Take Action!

The US Fish and Wildlife Service is taking public feedback about the issue. Please visit this Humane Society page, add your comments, and sign the petition asking US Fish and Wildlife Service to help all chimpanzees by applying Endangered Species Act protections to captive chimpanzees.