Category Archives: Animal Welfare

Issues concerning the treatment of animals, and efforts via reforms and legislation to improve it.

Cecil the Lion

Cecil the Lion, as he was known, was a lion who lived in Zimbabwe. You’ve probably seen the media storm and public outrage this week about his murder. A wealthy American paid to hunt down Cecil—at night, by luring him out of a preserve—and shoot him with a crossbow.

a lion similar to Cecil

It was nothing but a cowardly act by a small-minded trophy hunter, hell-bent on proving his sense of worth by killing others.

What I learned from the frenzy this week is that it pays to have a name. Cecil was a lion who’d been photographed by tourists for years (he was 12 or 13). He was GPS-collared and was part of an Oxford University study. But he was no different from many other lions that wealthy westerners (usually Americans) pay to kill. Six hundred lions are killed in trophy hunts every year, according to National Geographic.

Cecil sparked public outcry because he was well-known. In the same way we mourn for a celebrity’s death, but not the random people who also die.

For most people, the lion is a majestic creature. King of the jungle. We don’t associate them with food or clothing. That’s another thing Cecil had going for him. People around the world have issued hate mail and death threats to Cecil’s killer, and vigils and protests have sprung up at the man’s business.

Most of the people disgusted with Cecil’s death likely also eat and wear other animals. It’s a disconnect. Melanie Joy addresses this topic in-depth in her book, Why we Love Dogs, Eat pigs, and Wear Cows. This phenomenon (of loving some animals and eating others) she calls carnism. The book explains how people compartmentalize and justify this discrepancy.

It’s okay to mourn for Cecil. His death was a tragedy. His pride is in jeopardy, and his cubs will likely be killed by competing lions. But we need to also mourn for the millions of dogs and cats who are euthanized each year because they have no homes. And for the billions of farmed animals whose lives are brutal and short. They are all as precious as Cecil and as deserving of life.

We can’t stop evil people from hunting (although signing the petition to ask Zimbabwe to stop issuing hunting permits or the petition to include lions on the endangered species list would help). But we can adopt dogs and cats and never buy from breeders. And we can choose to not eat animals.

If you’re not already, please go vegan—for the countless animals just like Cecil, who are worthy of our admiration and who want to live.

Help save the New York Blood Center chimps

You may have heard about a group of chimpanzees who are in a horrible predicament. They’ve spent their lives as research subjects in Liberia.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the New York Blood Center (NYBC), the organization that exploited the chimps in the name of “science” recently walked away from its obligation to feed and care for the chimps for the rest of their lives.

NYBC had been spending $30,000 a month on 66 chimps, who are no longer being tested on and are living on secluded islands near the country’s capital, Monrovia. But they cut funding and the chimps, many with hepatitis and other viruses, are at risk of dying from dehydration and starvation.

image of chimps in Tanzania c/o "Gombe Stream NP Mutter und Kinder" by Ikiwaner - Own work. Licensed under GFDL 1.2 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gombe_Stream_NP_Mutter_und_Kinder.jpg#/media/File:Gombe_Stream_NP_Mutter_und_Kinder.jpg

TAKE ACTION:

1)  DEMAND CIPRIANI CANCEL NYBC FUNDRAISING GALA:

Cipriani, an upscale event space, is hosting an NYBC fundraising gala on November 5 with sponsorship levels up to $150,000.

CALL (646) 723 0826 and ask for an event planner. Politely explain why you are calling and let them know you are part of an ongoing campaign to have Cipriani cancel this event.

POST to Cipriani Facebook page

2) DEMAND HOWARD MILSTEIN REINSTATE FUNDING:

CALL: 212-842-7300 and demand Howard Milstein, Chairman of the NYBC Board of Trustees, reinstate funding for the abandoned chimps.

Milford Management is Howard Milstein’s real esate company

3) TWITTER CAMPAIGN:

Use these automated tweetsheets to contact NYBC donors and the media. You can also draft your own tweets to the recipients in these sheets:

Tweetsheet
Additional Tweetsheet

For more info about the abandoned chimps, read:

Senate vote on horse slaughter and cruel experiments

It’s a big week in the U.S. Senate, with an agriculture appropriations bill coming up for a vote that will include two key animal issues:

The first is about horse slaughter. An amendment that would help prevent the opening of horse slaughter plants — which often kill young, healthy animals and sell their meat to other countries — narrowly failed in the House. Now it needs to pass the Senate.

The second issue would protect farm animals from the kind of cruel experiments uncovered by The New York Times’ investigation into the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Nebraska. Pigs, cows and lambs are among the animals who endure grisly treatment at taxpayers’ expense, to help the declining meat industry. The appropriations bill needs to include language thta will ensure federal agricultural research meets basic animal welfare standards.

TAKE ACTION

If you live in Washington, please call Sen. Patty Murray at 202-224-2621 (who sits on the Appropriations Committee) and Sen. Maria Cantwell at 202-224-3441 to encourage them to support the amendment to defund inspections of horse slaughter plants and to support language that would protect farm animals from abuses in federal research facilities.

Calls take about one minute each and send the most powerful message. It’s also helpful to follow up with a written message — and you’ll find your Senators’ email addresses here.

Washington State Parks are killing geese again

In 2014, over 1200 geese were killed in local and state parks. And it’s starting again.

canada geese

(from Peace for Geese Project)

Washington State Parks has joined the interlocal agreement to kill geese throughout the Puget Sound region. After hiring Wildlife Services in 2013 to kill geese at Lake Sammamish State Park, Washington State Parks stated they had no plans to kill geese in 2014. However, in 2014 they once again paid to have geese killed at Lake Sammamish State Park and also at Deception Pass State Park.

Interlocal agreement members need to stop the killing. And, they need to be held accountable for accepting obvious discrepancies and inaccuracies in the record keeping and reporting provided by Wildlife Services.

Please contact Washington State Parks to ask them to stop killing geese.

Washington State Parks and Recreation Commissioners and Director’s Office
Phone: (360) 902-8502
E-mail: Commission@parks.wa.gov

For more info, check out the Peace for Geese Project on Facebook.

Take action against Primate Products Inc.

Primate Products Inc. is not just a primate dealer. It’s a house or horrors for the primates confined there. PPI, in Hendry County, Florida, imports, warehouses, and sells monkeys destined for experiments. They have federal contracts worth more than $13 million (including by the NIH, the Army, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

This horrific operation neglect, abuse, and terrorize monkeys. They’ve been cited by the USDA for violating animal welfare regulations–yet the abuse continues.

Please click this link and sign the petition at the end of the page. The content isn’t pleasant, but please think of the monkeys trapped in this hellhole. Do it for them.

It’s your opportunity to ask officials in Hendry County, Florida, to take action against PPI and close it for good.

Urge Circus World to end cruel elephant exhibits

Circus World in Baraboo, Wisconsin, offers outdated elephant acts and rides. PETA is urging the Circus World Museum Foundation’s board of directors to end the cruelty. Please go to this petition and sign for the elephants.

Elephant Joy RideElephant rides belong in the history books and have no place in modern society.

Please speak up for elephants by urging the Circus World Museum Foundation’s board of directors to listen to the modern audience and stop endangering the public and abusing elephants.

Help Pass a National Animal Cruelty Law

(From HSUS)

Have you heard about The Prevent Animal Cruelty and Torture Act (PACT Act)? It will make malicious cruelty to an animal in any area where the federal government has jurisdiction a federal crime.

Federal law already prohibits animal fighting, as well as trading in obscene video depictions of animals being crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled or subjected to other forms of heinous cruelty. But while the trade in video depictions of cruelty is banned, the underlying cruelty itself is not. The PACT Act will create a federal anti-cruelty statute that complements the cruelty laws in the 50 states.

TAKE ACTION
Please make a brief, polite phone call now to your U.S. Representative. Look up your representative’s phone number. You can say, “As someone who cares about animals and preventing animal cruelty, I urge you to co-sponsor HR 2293, the Prevent Animal Cruelty and Torture Act.”

Calling is so important. Please do not skip this crucial step. Then, personalize and submit the letter in this link to send a follow-up message.

Tell Whole Foods to stop selling rabbit meat

Have you heard that Whole Foods sells rabbit meat? In Defense of Animals recently wrote about the pilot program.

There’s no justification for eating any kind of animals, but it’s especially disturbing that, as more Americans are cutting back or omitting animal products, Whole Foods is promoting rabbits.

Rabbits are the fifth most popular pet, which makes this “food” introduction especially confusing.

And as with any industry that profits from animals, rabbits in the supply chain are treated cruelly and suffer immensely.

You can help!

Please follow the link to IDA’s factsheet. It includes a number you can call as well as a form you can fill out. Here’s info from IDA about what to say when you call:

Whole Foods corporate phone number: 512-477-4455

Here are some talking points to get you started:

  • The demand for rabbit is not strong and is in fact waning. We do not need another “meat” source, especially not from a companion animal, as rabbits are the number 5 companion animal in US households.
  • As a compassionate grocer, there is no reason to add another animal to your menu, especially one that millions of households consider a family pet.
  • I ask you to take rabbit off the shelves, as one of millions of shoppers who appreciate your variety of vegetarian and vegan options in addition to your product offerings that do not test on animals, including rabbits.
  • Sprouts listened to its customers and took rabbit meat off the shelves. Please follow their lead or I will take my business to Sprouts.

Help strengthen WA animal cruelty laws

ACTION ALERT!

A dangerous last-minute amendment to Senate Bill SB 5501 threatens to push back years of progress toward ending animal cruelty.

Overall, SB 5501 strengthens animal cruelty laws. But the amendment, known as Section 7, does the opposite and makes it easy for animal cruelty and neglect to go unpunished.

Section 7 will eliminate protections under current law for abused and neglected farmed animals owned by backyard “farmers” and hobbyists – leaving these animals totally vulnerable and unprotected.

TAKE ACTION:
Please urge Governor Inslee to VETO Section 7 and pass the remainder of SB 5501 into law.

  1. Email Governor Inslee
  2. Call his office:  360-902-4111

Don’t let them push back our progress to end animal cruelty. Please take 2 minutes to urge Governor Inslee to VETO Section 7 of SB 5501 today!

(Thanks to Pasado’s Safe Haven for this info. For the original alert, click here.)

Speak up for Eli the chimp

News from Eyes on Apes:

eyes on chimps

Comedy Central has a new TV show and they’re airing previews of the show, Big Time in Hollywood, FL,  containing footage of a chimpanzee.

Eyes on Apes knows the chimp in the footage. His name is Eli and he lives at a training facility called Steve Martin’s Working Wildlife.

Eli’s trainer has a history of dumping former nonhuman ape actors at very decrepit facilities, including Walter, who was found kept in a dark, barren, concrete pit filled with garbage at a roadside zoo. Eli’s trainers also have repeatedly failed to meet minimal animal welfare standards. (www.eyesonapes.org/eli)

There’s still time to act–the episodes with Eli’s scenes have not aired yet. Please send a polite letter to the producers and to Lenny Jacobson letting them know that chimpanzees should not be used in entertainment.

Siri Garber, Platform PR (Lenny Jacobson’s publicist)
Email:

Lee Kernis, Producer (manager to writers Alex Anfanger & Dan Schimpf)
Email:

Eyes on Chimps has a customizable sample letter you can use. You can also let the show know how you feel by posting comments on their Facebook page.

Not only are there numerous welfare concerns with using chimps in entertainment, but seeing chimpanzees dressed up in clothing and in physical contact with humans perpetuates the idea that they can be treated as pets.

Thank you for all you do. Remember, Your letters work!

Another alert sent out last month regarding a McDonald’s France commercial with Suzy (who lives with the same trainer as Eli) was pulled after they received feedback from Eyes on Apes supporters and other advocacy groups.