Category Archives: Animal Welfare

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

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.

World Day for Farmed Animals

October 2nd is World Day for Farmed Animals, a global event organized by FARM (Farm Animal Rights Movement). This year is the 30th annual WDFA and I bet there’s an event near you.

world day for farmed animals

Here in Seattle, at American Gold Seafoods, we’ll be holding an event too.

  • Date: Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
  • Time: 4:30 – 7:00
  • Where: American Gold Seafoods, 4019 21st Ave W  Seattle, WA

Find out more on the NARN event page for WDFA.

Don’t let it surprise you that the Seattle event is at a seafood processor. American Gold is basically a “slaughterhouse at sea.” They hold 3,000,000 salmon in pens (with about 1 bathtub worth of space per fish) for couple years, before they’re scooped up and killed by their “Harvestor” ship. Factory farms extend far beyond traditional land animals. Fish suffer and oceans are polluted because of farmed fishing.

World Day for Farmed Animals will continue until animals are no longer seen as commodities, raised for their flesh and by-products.

Won’t you join us?

 

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

Blackfish is coming to TV

By now, you’ve probably heard of the acclaimed documentary Blackfish, which investigates the terrible price paid by orcas at SeaWorld. If you haven’t been able to see it in theaters, here’s your chance!

On October 24th, CNN will be airing the television premiere of this important award-winning documentary.

Be sure to watch the film and learn about the horrors of captive marine animals and the cruel industry that confines them in the name of entertainment.

seaworldofhurtIf you’d like to take it a step further, Peta is encouraging people to host a Blackfish viewing party–and they’ll provide the things you need to get started! Sign up to host your viewing party with friends and family today, and they’ll send you:

  • A “How to Host a Viewing Party” guide
  • A printable petition (to SeaWorld CEO Jim Atchison asking him to release the animals to sanctuaries)
  • An information sheet on orcas and other captive animals
  • Recipes for vegan party food

We also invite you to connect with other people who are hosting their own events through our Facebook Event page.

Help spread the word that orcas and other sea animals deserve their freedom!