Category Archives: Animal Welfare

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

Helping people and animals this season

waywardNARN now has a donation box at Wayward Vegan Café!

We’re having a donation drive to collect supplies for the companions animals of the low income and homeless. We’re working in particular with the organization Peace on the Streets by Kids on the Streets.

Please stop by Wayward, and drop in a can of cat or dog food, a doggie or kitty bed, a leash, flea treatment, or other item for animals.

Where: 5253 University Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105 (open 9-9 every day)

Help the kids and the animals this holiday season!

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

Please join us on Facebook

Spaceless in Seattle — heartbreak at Woodland Park Zoo

Billy the chimpanzee featured on Chelsea Lately

EOA_take_action

Many of you might have seen that a chimpanzee named Billy was on the show Chelsea Lately last week. Billy was seen rocking and showing his top teeth–a clear sign of distress. The show said they would have Billy back the next night, and despite hearing from thousands of people to please not air Billy again, they went ahead with the segment anyway.

We want to continue to put pressure on the show and on Chelsea Handler, the host of the show. Not only are there numerous welfare concerns, but seeing chimpanzees alongside humans perpetuates the pet trade.

Studies also show that since chimpanzees are so prevalent in media, people aren’t aware of their endangered status. Please speak up for Billy and all chimpanzees still used in entertainment and ask Chelsea to issue a mea culpa about Billy’s appearance and promise to never use apes on her production again.

Please send a polite letter to her, c/o Tom Brunelle, letting her know that chimps like Billy should not be used in entertainment.

You may send your letter to Chelsea Handler c/o Tom Brunelle at tom@borderlineamazing.com

Sample Letter to Chelsea Lately:

[Date]
Dear Ms. Handler:

I was disappointed to hear that Chelsea Lately had Billy the chimpanzee on the show, and despite hearing from concerned advocates, aired a second appearance by Billy. You should know that great apes used in entertainment are torn away from their mothers as infants, often repeatedly beaten during training, and then discarded when they become too strong to be managed.

Using a chimpanzee for a cheap laugh sends the message that these amazing beings are simply props. Surely you are aware that chimpanzees are endangered species in critical need of protection?

Please make the compassionate decision to issue a mea culpa for airing Billy’s segments two nights in a row, and pledge to never exploit great apes for entertainment purposes again. Thank you for your consideration of my comments on this urgent matter.

Sincerely,
[Your name here]
[Your city & state]

If you send an e-mail to Chelsea, please BCC Eyes on Apes at EyesOnApes@ChimpsNW.org for tracking purposes. Thank you!

~reposted on behalf of Eyes on Apes~

Please Protest Local Donkey Basketball

 

The Anacortes Middle School is having a donkey basketball event as a fundraiser on January 18th. PEOPLE can volunteer for sports, but animals are forced to participate. In donkey basketball events, the donkeys are forced to carry people far too big and heavy for them, have their tender mouths jerked around, and are kicked and often hit, as well as shouted at by teenagers who care more about winning the game than hurting the donkeys. The donkeys are dragged from school to school and are usually not even given food and water beforehand so that they don’t have “accidents” during the games. The deprivation, constant travel, unfamiliar surroundings, loud noise, and rough handling are extremely stressful for them. They often develop unpredictable temperaments and have been known to lash out in frustration or fear, causing injury to participants or bystanders (who, if they are there supporting such a method of fundraising, totally deserve it).

Allowing animals to be brutalized for entertainment ANYWHERE desensitizes young people to animal suffering and reinforces the already way-too-prevalent belief that there is no good reason to be considerate of animals. They should not have to pay the price at school fundraisers. There are LOADS of humane and fun ways to raise school funds.

This was brought to our attention by activist Deanna Devaul in Mount Vernon, who has asked for our help. PLEASE take 10 minutes and write a real paper letter (four, pls!) to the following people (can be the same for each one), whose reactions to Deanna’s concerns have varied from indifferent to unpleasant. A call would always be great ALSO. Schools ALL OVER THE COUNTRY cancel donkey basketball ALL THE TIME; let’s shut this one down, too. THANK YOU!



CONTACT INFO:

Rick Durfee, Eagles President
901 7th Street
Anacortes, WA  98221
Tel - (360)293-3012

Patrick Herrington, Principal
Mark Perkins, Assistant Principal
Chris Crane, Activities Director
Anacortes Middle School
2202 M Avenue
Anacortes, WA  98221
Tel - (360)293-1230

World Vegan Day

Happy World Vegan Day!

World Vegan Day was started in 1994 to celebrate The Vegan Society’s 50th anniversary. The Vegan Society formed in the UK in 1944. That was the year that the term “vegan” was coined and defined.

Vegans come in all shapes and sizes and walks of life. It’s hard to generalize who a vegan is. Here is a bit of information about what vegans strive for:

Vegans abstain from animal products. Food wise, that means meat (including fish), eggs, and dairy. Veganism extends to other areas as well. Vegans don’t wear animal products (fur, leather, wool, silk, feathers, or any other item from an animal), or use household products containing animal ingredient or products tested on animals. Vegans don’t support captive animals acts like those in the circus or SeaWorld.

Vegans view animals as the sentient beings that they are, and not commodities to be exploited and used by humans. You can read our Vegan FAQs for answers to many questions about being vegan.

vegan starterNovember is World Vegan Month. A perfect time to go vegan. One way to start your journey is by ordering a vegan starter pack. Several organizations have packs to help you get started. The packs include things like recipes, nutritional info, and compelling reasons to go vegan.

 

 

vegan mentor programIf you’re already vegan, and need a bit of support, you can join the vegan mentor program, which matches new vegans with established vegans so you can make a smooth and lasting transition to veganism. It’s nice to know you’re not alone in your quest for a cruelty-free life.

 

So whether you’re just thinking about veganism or you’re well on your way, World Vegan Day is a great time to make a commitment to the animals, the earth, and your health.

Giving livestock isn’t charitable

Imagine, if you will, that you live in an impoverished community in an underdeveloped nation. Your one-room hut has a dirt floor without electricity or running water. You have to a make a fire just so you can cook. Food is scarce but you do your best to feed your children.

Then a western charity gives you a cow (or goat, or maybe a flock of chickens) so you can use this animal to improve your life. Sounds good, right?

Not so fast.

Ever raised a cow? Tried predator-proofing a chicken coop? Taking care of animals is hard to do. It’s a real burden, especially for people trying to raise a family and meet their basic needs.

Cow in Africa

Livestock costs a lot. Animals get sick and require vet care, they drink a lot of water (water that might not be easily accessible), and they eat food that could be used to feed people. Animals eat more than they produce. Often the price of food for livestock is greater than the money families can get from selling milk or meat.

The chances of the animals getting good care (when people can’t give their families proper care) are slim. Sometimes animals are used as currency and are bartered away. Other times children are pulled out of school to tend to the animals.

goats drinking

Eating high on the food chain isn’t wise. But western charities promoting western lifestyles and diets, would make you think it’s ideal. By introducing western eating habits, they’re introducing western diseases. The majority of people in countries where livestock is gifted are lactose intolerant anyway, so what good is a dairy cow?

The environmental costs of bringing more animals into a region are high too. Water pollution and waste runoff is one issue; desertization of land is another. Raising animals for food is a bigger contributor to global warming than all forms of transportation combined.

If you care about animals, please don’t give money to charities that promote the mistreatment and slaughter of animals. If you’re looking for ways to help others, look for organizations that promote ethical, sustainable ways to invest in communities. Here are a few:

Alternatives

  • Vegfam – Self-supporting, sustainable, plant-based food programs, and water resources.
  • Trees for Life – Fruit trees, books, education, clean water, and fuel-efficient stoves.
  • Plenty – Plant-based nutrition, healthcare, education, self-sufficiency, and disaster relief.
  • A Well-Fed World – Plant-based nutrition, education, farm animal rescue, and food sharing.
  • Kiva – Micro-loans for people to start small businesses and get themselves out of poverty.
  • SALEM – Education, shelter, environmental protection, nutrition information, and vegetarian meals.

Further reading

L.A. BANS BULLHOOKS!

TODAY, Wednesday 23rd, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed an ordinance banning the use of bullhooks on circus elephants.

“(Elephants) are trained and guided with bullhooks, which are used to inflict pain upon them and sometimes cut them when they’re hit,” said Councilman Paul Koretz. “We really want to change that. We think it’s a very cruel practice.” Of course, the ban on bullhooks means that circuses, traveling shows and other events that feature elephants would not be able to perform anywhere in the city, because the bullhook is how the handlers maintain control. A spokesman for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, says the ban was being driven by animal rights activists who want to force the circus out of the city.

UNFORTUNATELY, the ban allows for a three-year phase-in period — some of which will no doubt be used by the circuses trying to find a replacement for the bullhook. Presciently, the ban already includes baseball bats, axe handles and pitchforks. No mention of electric cattle prods, though.

Congratulations, L.A.!

CA County Set to Require PBT Sterilization

Riverside County, CA, is moving forward with a proposed ordinance that would make the sterilization of all pit bulls and pit bull mixes over the age of four months mandatory.  Hundreds of them languish in county animal shelters, where they make up about 20% of the total canine population and about 30% of the dogs euthanized.

Breed-specific legislation, as it is called, is a polarizing issue. Some of the proponents say the dogs are loose cannons and it is only a matter of WHEN they will ‘go off’, not IF. Opponents of this kind of legislation say the breed is being unfairly targeted, the dogs are unjustly maligned, and pit bull attacks are always sensationalized in the media, whereas attacks by other breeds pass unnoticed.

I have had four pit bulls over a period of 25 years. They slept and played with my cats and my children. They were without a single exception ever, loyal, gentle and dependable. It is obviously not the dogs — but to my HUGE regret, a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance for the people of Riverside County isn’t likely to pass.

sofajess2

Join us at the circus demos in Everett

If you hate this:

Ringling elephants

then come and do this:

Kent circus demo

We just wrapped up four days of demos in Kent (seven shows in all), and we’re heading to Everett for another four days to educate circus-goers about what really goes on behind the scenes of the Ringling Bros. Circus.

For info on what Ringling does to animals, see: http://www.ringlingbeatsanimals.com.

We will have signs, leaflets, banners…we just need YOU!

You are also welcome to bring your own sign – be creative!  It shows that individuals, not just animal rights groups are concerned about circus cruelty.

Demos start an hour and a half before each show time. Come to one or come to all! We’d love to have you join us:

Thursday the 10th at 6:00 pm
Friday the 11th at 6:00 pm
Saturday the 12th at 10:00 am, 2:00 pm, and 6:00 pm
Sunday the 13th at 11:30 am and 3:30 pm

Meet at the corner of Hewitt & Oakes.

For directions, more info, or to RSVP, see the Facebook event.

 

Come protest the circus with us!

Ringling is bringing the Cruelest Show on Earth to Kent, and NARN will be there to educate circus goers about what really goes on  behind the scenes. For info on what Ringling does to animals, see: http://www.ringlingbeatsanimals.com.

circus

We have signs, leaflets, banners–we just need YOU!

You’re welcome to bring your own sign. Be creative! It shows that individuals, not just animal rights groups, are concerned about circus cruelty. Demos start an hour and a half before each show time. We will be right along the front of Showare Center on West James Street–you’ll see us there!

Times:
Thurs, Oct. 3rd from 6:00-7:30 pm
Fri, Oct. 4th from 6:00-7:30 pm
Sat, Oct. 5th (3 shows) from 10:00-11:30 am, 2:00-3:30 pm and 6:00-7:30 pm
Sun, Oct. 6th (2 shows) from 11:30 am-1:00 pm and 3:30-5:00pm

If you have questions about the demos, contact info@narn.org. For more info or to RSVP, check out the Facebook event.