Category Archives: Issues

Criminalize Ag-Gag Laws

Pigs, chickens, cows and turkeys are being stomped, electroshocked, kicked, pitchforked, punched, skinned, burned…and a lot more….as you are reading this. It happens while you sleep, eat, drive to work, watch movies, relax. It happens unceasingly. Not everyone thinks it’s OK, and the videos/photos/proof brought out of those factory farms have won some significant victories. Ag-gag laws criminalize undercover work. Let’s be really clear: these laws, that are now in place in FIVE STATES and pending in many others, do nothing to improve conditions for the animals — on the contrary. They free farmers to commit the most atrocious acts of cruelty on a regular basis because no one will ever see them. This is also a food safety issue, not that I care ONE DUST MOTE about that. Under these Ag-gag laws, it is not the crime that is illegal, but bringing the crime to light.
This petition goes to the White House and must be answered.

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/criminalize-ag-gag-laws/KQWSvsKr

Signing takes less than 10 seconds. Even if your house is on fire you have 10 seconds.

New Bat Discovered, the "Find of a Lifetime," Promptly Killed for "Research"

PANDABAT

You may have seen the news about the discovery of a new genus of bat, the so-called “panda bat” in South Sudan. Unfortunately, instead of documenting this bat that is obviously rare and releasing him or her back into the wild, the Smithsonian has killed the bat. Additionally, there have been concerns raised about how the bat was handled by the biologists.

panda bat

(From Bat World Sanctuary on Facebook) “Concerning the (in our opinion) cover-up of how the new genus of bat was handled and killed, here is a statement from DeeAnn Reeder, the biologist involved. (Note that the Smithsonian is the same institution that captured and allowed 40 critically endangered Virginia big-eared bats to slowly die over a period of months because they would not use standard husbandry protocols for bats or listen to advice that could have saved the bats):

‘The specimen was humanly captured, handled and euthanized, and is being preserved and archived at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. The collection of specimens this rare is critical to understanding an area’s biodiversity and to pursuing conservation efforts around the world. Museum specimens, including Niumbaha superba are available to all of the world’s scientists for study, thereby increasing their value.All of the work conducted in South Sudan and the import of specimens from South Sudan to the USA was done under strict permitting, including: a MoU between DeeAnn Reeder (as an agent for Bucknell University and the Smithsonian Institution) and the South Sudanese Ministry of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism (MWCT; FFI also holds and MoU with the ministry) approving collecting, an export permit from the MWCT), and permission to import (and all appropriate documents filed) from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Additionally, the methods employed in the field, including trapping and humane euthanasia followed the guidelines of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Society of Mammalogists and were explicitly approved for this project by the Internal Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) at Bucknell University. The existence of IACUCs and the procedures they follow is federally mandated for all US institutions and for all US animal researchers (even when their work is performed outside of the US).’

For the full description of how the specimen was handled, we suggest that concerned persons read the paper published in ZooKeys, which can be found here.

Additionally, a recent comment we came across states: ‘The way the bat is being handled does not hurt the bat. Holding back the wings prevents the bat from hurting itself while being held. This is a standard (and temporary) way to hold a bat for things like photos and/or to study certain characteristics of bats.’ Researchers scruff bats to get photographs and to avoid being bitten. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the safety of the bat. Any bat care professional can tell you that when bats are held in a manner that is *comfortable* to them, they rarely attempt to bite and photos are easily obtained.

From Reeder’s paper (linked above): ‘… It seems that much more collecting needs to be done before we can claim a complete knowledge of the mammalian fauna of tropical Africa.” More than 70 years later, this statement still holds, and the biota of many areas of sub-Saharan Africa remains poorly understood, even in vertebrate groups usually considered well studied, such as mammals (Reeder et al. 2007). As an understanding of basic biodiversity is the backbone upon which other studies and conservation programs can be built, we encourage further basic field and museum work in the region; many more surprises no doubt await.’

We will always encourage our fans to speak out against cruelty and unnecessary killing of bats and other wildlife. Please share this post.”

We at NARN encourage the conservation efforts being made by Bat World Sanctuary, Bat Conservation International as well as other groups to save and protect them. Please support their work, share this post, and speak out against cruelty and killing of all wildlife. Obtaining knowledge about the world we are inhabiting should include the knowledge about affording the respect all animals deserve.

We Seldom Promote Petitions…

…as many may be nothing but a way for the signers to feel they did something without, in fact, having done anything. But I think we have a real chance of getting a MILLION people to sign this petition against the Japanese dolphin slaughter, and an equally real chance of having it contribute to the decision on who is to host the 2020 Olympics.

This campaign was begun by Shona Lewendon, who lives near Glasgow, in Scotland. She is not a professional campaigner, a journalist, or a politician. She is a single mother of three, someone who cared so much about the dolphin slaughter that she couldn’t do nothing. As she put it, “I realized that I was a person who had to become a ‘someone’ and try to do something about this.” So, after researching the Olympic Charter and the Sustainability Through Sport Agenda 21, she created an online petition to the IOC, the International Olympic Committee, and its president, Jacques Rogge. She points out that Japan’s actions with regard to the dolphin hunts actually contradict Olympic principles of environmental respect, and in addition clearly make Japan ineligible since it is not compliant with the terms set out in Agenda 21. It has garnered over 300,000 signatures in three months. The IOC’s final decision is on September 7th. We can do this. Allowing Japan to host the 2020 Olympics — as it desperately want to do — would be tacitly condoning the dolphin slaughter. NARN already participated in a demonstration outside the Japanese Consulate in February, and will be doing so again in June. Please take a MOMENT to sign now and a couple of hours to join us then.

For those of you who do not yet know, the Japanese Government grant permits to the Taiji Fishermen’s Union to hunt 2,800 dolphins from September to April for slaughter & to supply the captivity trade. Babies are torn from their mothers, many dolphins witness the slaughter of their entire families before either being taken captive or killed. The manner in which they are killed is horrifically cruel and caused protracted agony. Despite worldwide protests, the hunt continues, in a roped-off cove, hidden under tarpaulins. Those taken captive are held in sea pens, starved and traumatized, while buyers are found. The lucky ones die waiting. Many alternatives that allow the continued employment of the “fishermen” have been suggested, including turning Taiji into a tourist attraction for whale and dolphin watching, but they are repeatedly rejected in the name of “tradition”.

Taiji-Dolphin-Cove4-300x231

 

Silver-ish Lining to the Bird Flu Cloud

Apparently the bird flu scare in China has led to “significant” profit losses for Yum Foods, the parent company of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Unfortunately we are still not talking profit losses that will require the closing of all KFCs worldwide (take a moment to daydream about that…), but something in the order of $120 million in just three months, with more expected this year. Before you decide to kick back and get out of the activism business, after a campaign to somehow reassure customers that KFC is “high-quality food” Yum is STILL planning to open seven hundred new KFCs across China this year.

 

 

 

Hopefully These Drones Will Save Lives

PETA will soon be getting one or more drone aircraft with which to monitor hunters.  Drones are already being used to carry out elephant counts in the African nation of Burkina Faso, because they are cheaper and easier to operate than planes. The World Wildlife Fund will also be using anti-poaching drones (paid for by Google) in Africa and Asia. PETA’s drones will not be weaponized (you can’t hear it but my voice is regretful) and will only be used to film illegal hunting activity, information that will then be turned over to law enforcement.  Illegal deer and dove hunters, bighorn sheep hunters and bowhunters will be targeted, as well as hunters who are drinking and out to maim for fun. Eventually, the drones will also be used to check on factory farms and fishing spots on or off shore as well — anywhere “animals routinely suffer and die.” One drone, put into action by an AR group in South Carolina last year, was shot down. The upside is a slightly increased risk of hunting accidents.

Ringling Elephant Shot in Drive-By

One of Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus Asian elephants was shot in the shoulder on Tuesday morning outside BancorpSouth Arena in Tulepo, northern Mississippi. The elephant was allegedly fine and “walking around eating carrots” after 20 minutes and being treated by zoo staff and a local veterinarian. I can’t help but feel there is information lacking there — and a lot more care. The local police captain said the crime will be pursued as a federal offense since the elephant is endangered.

Just beating them is OK, though.

“Do what’s best for the elephants”

Yesterday, The Seattle Times published an editorial opinion piece by David Hancocks, former director of Woodland Park Zoo. His message: Elephants at the zoo are suffering. These complex social creatures cannot have even their basic needs met in a zoo environment.

Thanks to The Seattle Times and letters from the people of Seattle, the plight of Watoto, Chai, and Bamboo is getting attention from decision-makers.

Watoto the elephant pacing in a cage

Unlike their wild counterparts, elephants in captivity do not thrive. Their lifespans are shorter, their natural social bonds are severed, and they are deprived of the enriched environments they need to keep physically and psychologically well.

Elephants are active animals and travel miles and miles every day. In Woodland Park zoo, they have a measly acre to pace in—when they’re let outside.

The elephants at Woodland Park Zoo deserve to be released to a sanctuary. The wheels are in motion. Public opinion is changing and people are siding with the elephants. It’s time, in the words of Mr. Hancocks, to “do what’s best for the elephants.”

Please write to the zoo at:

Woodland Park Zoo, 601 N. 59th Street, Seattle, WA  98103
Email: woodlandparkzoopr@zoo.org and zooinfo@zoo.org

Address letters to:

  • Dr. Deborah B. Jensen, President and CEO
  • Bruce Bohmke, Chief Operations Officer
  • Jamie Creola, VIce President of Education
  • Dr. Darin Collins, Director of Animal Health
  • Dr. Nancy Hawkes, General Curator
  • Valerie Krueger, Director of Finance
  • David Schaefer, Director of Communications & Public Affairs
  • Gigi Allianic, Media and Public Relations

Also please write the mayor, your city council member, and especially Sally Bagshaw the Parks Committee Chair.

Mike McGinn, Mayor
mike.mcginn@seattle.gov, 206-684-4000

Sally Bagshaw, Seattle City Council, Parks Committee Chair
sally.bagshaw@seattle.gov, 206-684-8801

Richard Conlin, Seattle City Council, Council President
richard.conlin@seattle.gov, 206-684-8805

Sally J. Clark, Seattle City Council
sally.clark@seattle.gov, 206-684-8802

Nick Licata, Seattle City Council
nick.licata@seattle.gov, 206-684-8803

Bruce Harrell, Seattle City Council
bruce.harrell@seattle.gov, 206-684-8804

Tim Burgess, Seattle City Council
tim.burgess@seattle.gov, 206-684-8806

Jean Godden, Seattle City Council
jean.godden@seattle.gov, 206-684-8807

Tom Rasmussen, Seattle City Council
tom.rasmussen@seattle.gov, 206-684-8808

Mike O’Brien, Seattle City Council
mike.obrien@seattle.gov, 206-684-8800

Deborah Jensen, Woodland Park Zoo President
deborah.jensen@zoo.org, 206-548-2416

Or send a letter to each of the above council members at the following address:
[Name of Councilmember]
Seattle City Hall
P.O. Box 34025
Seattle, WA 98124-4025

Or fax them at 206-684-8587.

You can learn more about the elephants at the zoo and the efforts to release them to a sanctuary, at Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants.

New bird flu hits China

Here’s another reason to go vegan:

A strain of avian flu recently broke out in China and authorities in three cities there have shut down live bird markets. Sadly for the birds, whose death awaited them at the markets anyway, 20,000 birds have already been killed as a precaution.

caged chickens at a market in China

H7N9 has been found in pigeons so they’re being slaughtered, along with chickens, geese, ducks and other birds at the markets.

Twenty-one people have contracted the flu, and six deaths have been reported. So far, there haven’t been signs of human-to human transmission.

Keeping birds in close quarters, where they can spread the avian flu, isn’t a good practice. The best way to help birds and people is to ditch meat and eat a vegan diet.

 

Protesting the fur industry

Have you ever seen anti-fur demonstrations downtown Seattle?

Anti-fur demonstrators at Nordstrom

If you’re walking past Nordstrom and you’re offered an anti-fur leaflet, here’s why:

Nordstrom continues to sell fur despite the cruel nature of the industry. As long as fur is sold at Nordstrom, Action for Animals will continue to organize demonstrations outside the department store. NARN members frequently join AFA at the demos to shed light on the horrors that millions of animals endure in the name of fashion. Farmed fur animals gassed, poisoned, or genitally electrocuted. Wild-caught animals suffer for days in traps and break bones and teeth trying to free themselves.

We want Nordstrom to know that it’s unacceptable to sell fur, and we want to let consumers know about the barbaric practices they’d support if they buy fur.

The good news is, fur is completely avoidable. If you think suffering and death is too high a price to pay for fashion, you’ve got choices. There are a lot of retailers who don’t sell fur. There’s even a list to help you shop with your conscience.

So if you see AFA and NARN outside Nordstrom, say hi or join in! We appreciate your support. While you’re at it, tell Nordstrom you won’t shop there until they stop selling fur. Here’s a petition you can sign and a sample letter.

Bill Gates promotes veganism

You know veganism is going mainstream when people like former President Bill Clinton cut out meat, eggs, and dairy. Now, Bill Gates is on board, with a feature on his website called The Future of Food.

Bill Gates

Gates is primarily concerned with the environmental impact of meat eating as the developing world readies itself for economic growth. Meat production is a cruel, unsustainable industry that damages water supplies and land–and that’s what Bill Gates is trying to change.

He supports new innovations in plant-based foods and wants to reinvent the way people eat. Instead of fixing a broken system, he’s working with companies who want to turn the industry on it’s head and start a whole new model. A plant-based model.

Less land, less water, and no animal cruelty is a model that benefits everyone.