Category Archives: Animal Liberation

Washington State premier of Speciesism: The Movie

Have you heard about Speciesism: The Movie?

Speciesism

This documentary will take you on a journey across the country, as you follow director and star Mark Devries to factory farms, lecture halls, and the streets of New York.

Devries was a college student when he set out to ask questions about why humans see our species as the most important and why we make arbitrary distinctions between “food”  and “pet.”

The documentary is eye-opening. Sometimes harrowing, and surprisingly funny.

Mark Devries will be in Seattle for the Washington State premiere Speciesism, and will be leading a Q&A session afterwards.

When: Thursday, April 3rd at 7 pm
WhereVarsity Theatre, 4329 University Way NE, Seattle, Washington 98105

You can RSVP on Facebook, but be sure to get tickets as well.

Iditarod dogs still need help

I recently wrote about the horrendous conditions the Iditarod dogs endure. Here are more Iditarod sponsors’ emails. Please write to them. A sample letter is below:

Sponsors:

If you’d like to write to the sponsors listed in my original post, here they are:

Sample letter:

Dear Iditarod Sponsor:

For the dogs, the Iditarod dog sled race is a bottomless pit of suffering. Please end your organization’s support of this event. What happens to the dogs during the Iditarod includes death, paralysis, frostbite, bleeding ulcers, bloody diarrhea, lung damage, pneumonia, ruptured discs, viral diseases, broken bones, torn muscles and tendons and sprains. Over 143 dogs have died in the race, including three who frozen to death in the brutal cold. For more facts, visit the Sled Dog Action Coalition website, http://helpsleddogs.org.

Iditarod mushers beat dogs who won’t run, or who don’t run fast enough. Dogs are beaten with shovels, bats, chains, two-by-fours or whatever else is handy. Dr, Jeanne Olson, who has been a veterinarian in Alaska since 1988, confirmed the brutality used by mushers training dogs for the Iditarod. She saw dogs with cracked ribs, broken jaws or skulls from mushers using two-by-fours for punishment. In an article published by the University of Alaska, Dr. Olson said, “There are mushers out there whose philosophy is…that if that dog acts up I will hit that dog to the point where it would rather die than do what it did, ’cause the next time it is gonna die.’”

Jim Welch says in his book Speed Mushing Manual, “Nagging a dog team is cruel and ineffective…A training device such as a whip is not cruel at all but is effective.” He also said, “It is a common training device in use among dog mushers…” Jon Saraceno wrote in his column in USA Today, “He [Colonel Tom Classen] confirmed dog beatings and far worse. Like starving dogs to maintain their most advantageous racing weight. Skinning them to make mittens. Or dragging them to their death.”

Iditarod dog kennels are puppy mills. Mushers breed many dogs and routinely kill unwanted ones, including puppies. Mushers have drowned, shot, bludgeoned and dragged many dogs to death. For example, Iditarod musher Dave Olesen drowned a litter of newborn puppies. Another musher got rid of unwanted puppies by tying them in a bag and tossing the bag in a creek. Mushers even have a saying about not breeding dogs unless they can drown them: “Those who cannot drown should not breed.”

Veterinary care during the Iditarod is poor. In the 2012 race, one of Lance Mackey’s male dogs ripped out all of his 16 toenails trying to get to a female who was in heat. This type of broken toenail is extremely painful. Mackey, a four-time Iditarod winner, said he was too stubborn to leave this dog at a checkpoint and veterinarians allowed Mackey to continue to race him. Imagine the agony the dog was forced to endure.

Here’s another example: Veterinarians have allowed dogs with kennel cough to race in the Iditarod even though dogs with this disease should be kept warm and given lots of rest. Strenuous exercise can cause lung damage, pneumonia and even death. To make matters worse, kennel cough is a highly contagious disease that normally lasts from 10 to 21 days.

Please end your organization’s association with this horrific race.

Sincerely,

[your name]

 

VALENTINE'S DAY DOLPHIN DEMO

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society & Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians NEED YOU on Valentine’s Day!

Demonstrations To Take Place in the U.S. and Overseas Against Taiji’s Brutal Dolphin Hunts

World Love For Dolphins Day

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and the Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians are inviting supporters and all concerned individuals to join in targeted demonstrations on February 14, 2014  – VALENTINE’S DAY — against Taiji’s brutal capture and slaughter of dolphins.

There will be demonstrations at the Embassy of Japan in Washington, D.C. and Japanese consulates in cities across the country, demanding an end to the bloodshed in Taiji. The appalling dolphin hunts have been in the public eye so much recently for a variety of reasons, and we need to keep up the pressure. This may be the beginning of the end! PLEASE DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO BE THERE. I know it is Valentine’s Day, and you didn’t plan to spend it holding a sign, but what BETTER way could there be?!

Valentine’s Day Demonstration, Feb 14th, 2014, 12:00pm-1:00pm ET/PT, outside the Japanese Consulate at 601 Union Street downtown (Union St. exit).

You can download & print a poster on Sea Shepherd’s website here .

 

Help bring Lolita home

Lolita is a orca from the Puget Sound off the coast of Washington State, who was captured and stolen from her family four decades ago. You might remember her story from the documentary Blackfish and Lolita: Slave to Entertainment.

Lolita c/o ALDFShe’s been languishing in a tiny tank at the Miami Seaquariam. The Endangered Species Act protects members of the Southern Resident orca population, but Lolita has been excluded from being protected–until now.

Thanks to pressure from PETA and the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) made a decision that could free Lolita. The NMFS agreed that Lolita deserves the same protection as her wild family.

Even if Lolita cannot be truly wild and free, she deserves to live in peace without being forced to perform tricks for food. She hasn’t seen another orca in 30 years–a cruel  situation for a social animal. A sea pen in the Puget Sound would give her space, natural sounds and sights, and the change to reconnect with her family.

Plus, Lolita’s mother is still alive! Reuniting the two would give Lolita a good chance at freedom.

Help now!

Please share your support for Lolita here. Let the government know you support their decision to include Lolita in her family’s ESA listing. Please tell them that her current conditions are causing her to suffer, and that you want her moved to a seaside sanctuary in her home waters under expert care.

Comments will be accepted until March 28th, but why wait? Add a brief note now–and help bring Lolita home!

Speak up for the Woodland Park Zoo elephants

FOWPZE

Woodland Park Zoo has their hand out again for money from tax payers – in fact they’re listed first on the list to get money in the Parks Legacy Plan. The City needs to know that there are many of us who don’t want more funding to go to the zoo.

Here’s why:

  • The zoo already gets $6.6 million dollars annually–and the amount goes up every year. Last year Seattle taxpayers paid  the zoo an additional $2 million for parking!
  • We do not consider this business a park.
  • No other park has admission.
  • No other park has a Board of Directors dedicated to fund raising.
  • The zoo could save $787,000.00 by closing the archaic and inadequate elephant exhibit by retiring the elephants to a sanctuary. They could also save the cost of fighting media and citizen criticism of the elephant program that has mounted to at least $480,000.00 over the past 7 years.
  • No other park has such public controversy associated with it’s operations. The zoo’s elephant program has been criticized by The Seattle Times, The Ron and Don Show (the #1 rated talk radio show), The Seattle PI, Crosscut, blogs, internationally renowned elephant experts and Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants.

Please go one of these meetings and give public comment or simply say why you’re there on the sign-in sheet. We’d like to your thoughts if you attend. Here are the dates and times of the meetings:

Thursday, January 23 at 6 p.m. – International District/Chinatown Community Center 719 8th Ave. S
Saturday, January 25 at 1 p.m. – High Point Community Center 6920 34th Ave. SW (Free childcare will be provided)
Thursday, January 30 at 7 p.m. – Bitter Lake Community Center 13035 Linden Ave. N

More info on the Parks Legacy Plan is here.

Also, please write a short and courteous email to the following people asking Woodland Park Zoo to be removed from the Parks Legacy Plan. It can be as simple as: “Please remove Woodland Park Zoo from the Parks Legacy Plan. The Zoo receives enough tax dollars.”

parkslegacy@seattle.gov, Sally.Bagshaw@seattle.gov, Tim.Burgess@seattle.gov, Sally.Clark@seattle.gov, Jean.Godden@seattle.gov, Bruce.Harrell@seattle.gov, Nick.Licata@seattle.gov, Tom.Rasmussen@seattle.gov, Mike.OBrien@seattle.govKshama.Sawant@seattle.gov, Ed.murray@seattle.gov

Thanks for your help. We couldn’t help the elephants without you!

Protest The Cove to the Japanese PM NOW

As some of you may know, at this very moment, five pods of bottlenose dolphins — 250 individuals — have been driven into The Cove in Taiji and await their fate. They don’t know life as they knew it is over, for all of them. The many juveniles and babies among them include a rare white albino calf who has been clinging to his mother as closely as possible in the panic of the drive hunt. These are his last hours with her. Rare albino dolphin calf

Sea Shepherd provides a live stream from The Cove at http://livestream.seashepherd.org

During the selection process, families are all torn apart as some are taken to spend their lives in miserable captivity, some are hacked to death before the eyes of the others, and some (as in the case of a baby recently) are just driven away to die alone at sea.

I wish I could tell you how to go there and where to climb down to the water and cut nets to pieces. There are lots of things I wish I could tell you. But all I MAY tell you is that you can send your thoughts right to the Japanese Prime Minister Abe with this link:

PLEASE do it.
NOTHING changes without NOISE.

Speak up for animals in labs

Have you read the Herald’s article, Inside the Monkey Lab? It’s about SNLB, an animal research facility in Everett, WA, and it’s terribly one-sided.

Please write to Peter Jackson (pjackson@heraldnet.com), the editorial page editor, and tell him the article was not fair or balanced. You can also add your comments at the bottom of the article, but a letter to the editor will have more impact. For talking points on why we don’t need animal testing, here’s some info:

Animal testing is bad science, based on outdated ideas, and it’s a money-making racket. Researchers applying for grants, can secure more money when they use animals in their experiments. And Mark Crane, the SNLB VP interviewed in the article said his company breeds and sells research monkeys to other labs for about $3,500 each. It’s big business. Careers depend on it.

If animals are so different from us (different enough for us to justify experimenting on), it also means they’re too different to gather relevant, conclusive evidence drawing of a monkey being operated onthat would apply to us. If they’re similar enough that the experiments would actually be useful and relevant, then they’re just like us and it’s unethical to test on them. Either way, it’s wrong.

The cost of experimenting on animals is high and the benefits are minimal. Non-animal testing is usually cheaper and more accurate than animal tests, which can be unreliable. Animal tests are misleading because they’re not good at showing how humans will respond.

With animal testing, illness is induced, and then a cure is sought. That’s an unrealistic and unnatural environment and doesn’t translate well to humans. According to the AAVS, nine out of ten drugs that appear promising in animal studies go on to fail in human clinical trials.

For example, the polio vaccine was delayed by decades because of animal testing. Monkeys respond differently to the virus. Penicillin almost didn’t see the light of day because it was ineffective on rabbits (and killed guinea pigs). It wasn’t until Alexander Fleming gave it to a dying patient (as a last-ditch effort) and she recovered that it was proven acceptable for human use.

Thalidomide, a drug used in the 1950s to treat morning sickness, was proven harmless in dogs, cats, rabbits, monkeys, and rats, and was cleared for human use. It wasn’t until over 10,000 children were born with severe birth defects that it was pulled from the market. Animal tests didn’t warn us.

More recently, Vioxx, a painkiller for people with arthritis, was taken off the market after it caused up to 320,000 heart attacks and strokes. The drug was tested on animals but those tests never revealed the danger to people.

We have the technology to use alternatives to animal tests–and there are many! We have mathematic and in silico (computer models), genomic tests, in vitro (test tube) on human cell cultures, and medical imaging.

Tell Southwest Airlines to cut ties with SeaWorld

Southwest Airlines is renewing its commitment to promote SeaWorld, claiming its relationship with SeaWorld is about “bringing families together.”

Conversely, SeaWorld is all about tearing marine mammal families apart. For a glimpse into how they operate, check out the official page for the documentary, Blackfish (you can watch the full movie on Netflix).

SOUTHWEST_AIRLINES

PETA has reached out to Southwest Airlines, but the company isn’t listening. Now it’s your turn to tell Southwest how you feel.

Please politely urge Southwest Airlines to sever its partnership with SeaWorld. You can contact them on their web form.

Let your friends and family know as well so we can be a loud voice for orcas and other animals in captivity.

Action Alert! Chance the chimpanzee in Wolf of Wall Street

In the upcoming movie Wolf of Wall Street, Leonardo DiCaprio is seen holding an infant chimpanzee, Chance. this is especially disappointing because Mr. DiCaprio is known for his passion for animal conservation—most recently he supported conservation efforts to save tigers in Nepal.

Animal advocacy groups have contacted Mr. DiCaprio and the movie producers; however, our efforts to reach out have not resulted in Chance’s scenes getting removed from the movie. Now it is time for the public to speak up!Chance on set

Chance was once a pet, and his previous owners discarded him to a pseudo-sanctuary called the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary. The animal attraction claims to be a reserve for animals, but they regularly exploit their residents for entertainment purposes. In fact, Chance’s owners (the Rosaire-Zoppe family) are the only remaining trainers who continue to use chimpanzees in circuses. No respectable reserve or animal sanctuary would lease out their animals for media productions such as this movie.

Even if the AHA was present for filming, they have no authority over Chance’s treatment off-set, making the “no animals were harmed” disclaimer misleading.

Portraying chimpanzees as cute and cuddly attractions seriously misinforms the public on the true nature of these beings and perpetuates the pet and entertainment industries. Studies have shown that showing chimpanzees alongside humans in film and TV mask their endangered status, and these scenes hurt conservation efforts.

Despite hearing these facts from advocacy groups, the Wolf of Wall Street producers have not removed Chance’s scenes from the movie, which will be released on December 25. We encourage you to please post on the movie’s poster on their Facebook page and Twitter to let them know that because of the issues with Chance’s scenes you will not be going to see the movie, and you will tell all your friends to boycott it with you.

Sample Facebook Post:

I’m boycotting Wolf of Wall Street because of the chimpanzee scenes! Even Hollywood knows that abuse occurs when animals are used in movies (hollywoodreporter.com/feature). Chimpanzees don’t belong in movies unless they are CGI. Chimpanzees are an endangered species and showing them as cute and cuddly props hurts conservation efforts and perpetuates the pet trade.

Sample Tweets:

Pls RT! Join @EyesOnApes and tell @LeoDiCaprio chimps should not be in movies & you won’t see @TheWolfofWallSt!

RT! @LeoDiCaprio I will boycott @TheWolfofWallSt because of Chance’s scenes. Chimps do not belong in movies! EyesOnApes.org

Don’t support animal abuse. Refuse to see @LeoDiCaprio in @TheWolfofWallSt and tell all your friends. EyesOnApes.org Pls RT!

The final thing you can do to help Chance is to spread the word! Please share this alert on social media and encourage your friends to boycott the movie with you.

~ reposted from Eyes on Apes ~

Have your say about the Seattle Parks zoo assignment

Woodland Park Zoo Elephant logo

Very soon, a new Seattle City Council Chair of Parks will be selected. The Parks Chair oversees Woodland Park Zoo. Bamboo, Chai and Watoto are the three elephants who have lived 45, 33 and 43 years, respectively, on display at the Zoo. They need a council member who is concerned about their welfare to be the next Parks Chair.

Please ask Sally Clark (City Council President), Ed Murray (the Mayor-elect) and the other City Council members to choose a City Council member who will work with the Zoo to retire the elephants to a sanctuary in a warmer climate with hundreds of acres to roam.

Contacts:
mayoraltransition@seattle.gov
Sally.Clark@seattle.gov
Sally.Bagshaw@seattle.gov
Tim.Burgess@seattle.gov
Richard.Conlin@seattle.gov
Bruce.Harrell@seattle.gov
Nick.Licata@seattle.gov
Tom.Rasmussen@seattle.gov
Mike.OBrien@seattle.gov

What you might want to know:

The Zoo-appointed Task Force’s recommendations should not be used to determine the elephants’ fate. Their bias was clear, with 5 out of the 14 being current or former Zoo Board members and many others having a clear conflict of interest. The Zoo Board will make their decision about Bamboo, Chai and Watoto’s future early next year.

Friends of WPZ Elephants commissioned a survey using Research Now, an independent research company. The findings debunk the Zoo’s cherished catchphrase and the Task Force’s justification for keeping the elephants: That seeing an elephant will inspire people “to learn, care and act to help conserve elephants and their habitats in the wild.”

NOT SO—NOT EVEN CLOSE:

  • 97% of survey respondents knew about elephant poaching for their ivory. They learned about this crisis from print and media—not from Woodland Park Zoo.
  • 88% of people who saw the elephants at the Zoo didn’t change to whom they donate or products that they buy.

Our wet and cold climate is wrong for elephants. It forces Bamboo, Chai and Watoto to be locked up in a tiny, barren stall for 16 to 17 hours a day for over half of the year. It’s like you being locked up in a broom closet.
Watoto in a box

Please write a polite email asking for the new Parks Chair to be someone who will work with Woodland Park Zoo to retire Bamboo, Chai and Watoto to a sanctuary so they may have a humane quality of life.

Thanks so much,
Nancy Pennington and Alyne Fortgang
Co-founder, Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants
A NARN Campaign
206-595-7770

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Spaceless in Seattle — heartbreak at Woodland Park Zoo