Category Archives: Issues

In-vitro meat makes a debut

Here’s some food for thought: If the main reason for choosing a vegan lifestyle is to reduce suffering, what do you think about in-vitro meat?test tubes

The New York Times recently reported about a hamburger grown in a laboratory from muscle tissue. This in-vitro, or cultured, meat doesn’t require the water, grain, land, transportation, and slaughter of an animal.

The sample being worked on at the moment isn’t vegan–it’s origins are animal in nature (cow stem cells). But future versions could be grown from non-animal sources.

This still sounds like science fiction, and I’ll stick by the loads of scientific findings that meat of any kind isn’t healthy. But if people don’t stop eating meat, perhaps they could gravitate toward in-vitro meat and bypass factory farms.

Protest Wolves Losing Endangered Species Protection

From IDA, In Defense of Animals

The United States Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) has announced a plan to delist all wolves throughout the United States (except Mexican wolves) who are currently protected by the Endangered Species Act. This reckless and politically motivated plan will intensify the ongoing slaughter of wolves. We have already seen tragedy in western states where hateful anti-wolf rhetoric and politics trump ethics and science.
When wolves lost their ESA protection in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, these states immediately began to allow a recreational slaughter. Wolves are being injured and killed by bow hunters, gunned down by trophy hunters, tortured by trappers in steel-jaw foothold traps and snares, and subjected to other brutal “management” methods, including aerial gunning. More than 1,100 wolves have been killed in these states since Congress took ESA protection away from them in 2011.
Has the human behavior that caused the endangerment of wolves and made necessary their protection changed? No! This question, not just numbers, should determine whether this species can afford to lose ESA protection. Wolves are still discriminated against and misunderstood, their role as important top carnivores for the integrity of ecosystems is not sufficiently valued, and they are hated by the livestock industry, ranchers and hunters.
Take action now:Don’t allow wolves to be delisted – they cannot afford it!

Urge USDA to Confiscate Lucky from San Antonio Zoo

The notorious Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) has reportedly approved the keeping of 53-year-old Lucky, a female Asian elephant, in solitary confinement at the San Antonio Zoo. This is in spite of the facts that
a) female elephants are extremely social and naturally live in close-knit multi-generational herds
b) there have been widespread protests from experts and members of the public alike
c) solitary confinement violates the AZA’s own guidelines, which require that elephants be kept in groups of three.
What you can do:Click here to read more. Then use the form at that link to tell Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to intervene and confiscate Lucky. After you submit your letter, please follow up with a phone call to Sec. Vilsack: 202-720-3631.

ACLU Against Ag-Gag Bills

The American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU, a non-partisan charity dedicated to defending the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution, has come out strongly against the so-called Ag-Gag bills, introduced in 17 states so far. The ACLU asserts that these laws are “flagrant violations of the First Amendment:, and is encouraging Americans to “protect animals and free speech” by fighting these efforts to hide cruel and often criminal practices from the public.
It’s about time.

U.S. Bank supports Hundington Life Sciences – pull your account and tell them why!

From all-creatures.org:

Originally Posted: April 24, 2013

Target U.S. Bank – HLS Lender, Investor In Cruelty

FROM Kinship Circle

ACTION

While Huntington Life Sciences (HLS) has teetered on the edge of shutdown, straddled with a $100 million debt, some financier always seems to bail them out.

Ask US Bank to end its association with HLS and terminate the current loan agreement.

Sign an online petition (copy/paste URL into your browser):

http://www.kinshipcircle.org/action_center/letter_new3.asp?LetterID=2004#autoletter

And/or better yet, make direct contact:

Go here for LOTS of direct contact information:
Downloadable PDF or go here: http://www.kinshipcircle.org/action_center/letter_new3.asp?LetterID=2004

INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS

US Bank loan lets HLS kill more animals

Huntingdon Life Sciences faced financial ruin. But US Bank’s $120 million loan kept them open to poison dogs, cats, monkeys and more animals in tests for pesticides, sweeteners, diet pills… So today animals still collapsed, frothing at the mouth. Dogs who didn’t get enough anesthesia “whimpered and moved” while cut apart.

US Bank is currently Huntingdon’s top debt-relief source. Though made aware of 7 investigations that reveal habitual animal abuse and fraudulent science, the bank approved this mega loan. Apparently US Bancorp doesn’t see animal cruelty as reason to blacklist a company, as it does with illegal gun sellers, gambling websites, etc. Like hundreds of other firms that dumped HLS, US Bank has access to footage and documents about techs who punch beagle puppies, dissect live animals, falsify data and botch experiments so badly that animals seize and die on the spot.

Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty UK launched a global campaign in 1999, with unified U.S. action a few years later. Anti-HLS efforts target the lab’s infrastructure: Financiers, customers and suppliers are strongly urged to dump HLS in ongoing letter/phone/email campaigns and live protests. Any company with ties to HLS is exposed to evidence of animal abuse.


Dear U.S. Bancorp Executive Officers and Employees,

It is refreshing to know that a corporation as large as U.S. Bancorp rejects business from illegal gun sellers, gambling websites, pornographers, and other enterprises judged corrupt or immoral.

Please add animal cruelty to your criterion for blacklisted companies. I was genuinely surprised to learn that U.S. Bank National Association approved a $120 million loan for Huntingdon-Life-Sciences. This controversial research laboratory, with facilities in England and New Jersey, is on record for: Multiple violations of animal welfare law in the United States and England, personnel cited for animal cruelty and on- site drug/alcohol use, and payoffs to the U.S. Agriculture Department for fraudulent records and animal welfare noncompliance.

Investigative footage that spans more than a decade shows animals who vomit, stagger, seize and collapse. Veterinary inspection is rare. H-L-S violence first went public when a UK Channel Four TV series, Countryside Undercover, broadcast reports from the lab’s Beagle Unit. A U.S. probe revealed dogs killed when dosing tubes misdirected into their lungs (rather then stomachs) choked them in poison. During post-mortem dissection, a tech cut apart the chest of a still conscious monkey. Another was filmed punching beagles: “A worker swung a puppy by the scruff of her neck…and continually punched her as she screamed,” the investigator noted.

In 2005, two H-L-S workers left their jobs distressed over suffering seen for 12 months. Their testimonials also described coworkers who “grab dogs by the scruff, shout and swear, swing and slap them.” They witnessed: Dogs barely anesthetized for painful procedures like bone marrow extraction; staff needle-jabbing contests; and routinely forged records to hide slip-ups.

In 2008, Animal Defenders International publicized H-L-S logs about inhalation tests with monkeys cinched in chairs to breathe in toxic fumes. The animals were so stressed, some suffered rectal prolapse and many self-mutilated to cope. One gnawed off an entire finger. Another shredded her face and had to eat via tube. Animals died in agony from collapsed or obstructed lungs.

Pharmaceutical firm Novartis withdrew sponsorship of an H-L-S study altogether, after disclosure of botched xenotransplantation tests in which pig hearts were stitched to the necks of hundreds of monkeys. The Daily Express exposed evidence of monkeys “screaming, reluctant to move, salivating, huddled with severe tremors on torso and head, collapsing, gasping.”

Biotechnology has evolved with breakthroughs in human-based methods relevant to human conditions. Conversely, animal tests mislead researchers due to metabolic, anatomic, physiological and psychological discrepancies between species. Erroneous animal data may speed new drugs through clinical trials to market, but lead to unforeseen adverse drug reactions in the general population. U.S. Food and Drug Administration lists ADRs as the fourth top cause of death, with over two million victims each year.

If a companion animal shares your home, you know how frightening pain is for your furry friend. The animals at H-L-S are no different, except pain is amplified. I urge you to join Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC, Citibank, Bank of New York, Merrill Lynch, Charles Schwab, Barclays Plc, Stephens Inc. and hundreds more firms that severed relations with H-L-S. I encourage you to explore any cause-for-termination language in the current loan agreement as well.

I realize you may receive letters similar to mine, but these words accurately express my thoughts. Thank you for your valuable time. I look forward to any feedback you can provide.

Sincerely,

YOUR FULL NAME
ADDRESS, CITY, STATE
COUNTRY


Thank you for everything you do for animals!


Other information you may find useful for your activism

Find area codes
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First Person Arrested Under Ag-Gag

 

Twenty-five year old Amy Meyer was arrested and charged with violating Utah’s new “Ag Gag” bill that makes it illegal for citizens to record the abuse of animals.  262554_570497038429_549205_nShe went to the Smith Meatpacking Slaughterhouse in Draper, Utah, because she had heard that anyone could see what was going on right from the street. While she was there, she saw cows fighting to get away, a downer cow carried off on a tractor lift, and ground flesh being spewed from a chute on one side of the building. While filming this with her cell phone, she never set foot in the slaughterhouse area, and remained at all times on public property. She was arrested and charged with agricultural operation interference. She is to go to court on May 23rd. If convicted, she faces up to six months in jail. By the way….the Mayor of Draper, Darrell Smith, co-owns the slaughterhouse. But that wouldn’t have anything to do with anything, would it?

Please call the following people and express your support for Amy Meyer and slaughterhouse transparency. I am guessing you can think of many ways of expressing this. And then write two quick emails. Please try to stay respectful and polite — don’t make people remember our rudeness rather than our rightness. These are EASY CALLS. No one is going to start arguing with you (and do you care?) :-)

Utah Governor Herbert
Phone: (800) 705-2464

Draper Mayor Darrell Smith
Phone: (801) 576-6513

Draper City Prosecutor Ben Rasmussen
Phone: (801) 576-6545

Members of the Utah legislature
http://le.utah.gov/Documents/find.htm

Please call the Dale T. Smith and Sons Meat Packing Company and express your disapproval of their mistreatment of animals and their decision to press charges.
Phone: (801) 571-3611
mail@smithmeats.com

Demo at the UW National Primate Research Center

This past Saturday NARN held a demo outside the UW National Primate Research Center. The demo was organized to coincide with World Week for Animals in Labs.

The Blue Building

Hidden inside this dark, unmarked, sunless building, 700 primates live and die for research, subjected to painful surgeries and traumatic procedures until their usefulness is over. The Blue Building at 3000 Western Ave is the main facility for the UW National Primate Research Center, the largest of eight across the country.

About a dozen of us spent a few hours with signs and fliers and shared info with passers-by. Many people were shocked to learn that wasteful and cruel experiments were happening in their neighborhood. The beautiful sculpture park is across the street, and no one suspects cruelty is around them.

protesting animal cruelty

The University of Washington spends millions of taxpayer dollars conducting needless tests that haven’t resulted in any contribution to humans or animals. Harvard recently decided to close its primate research center and it’s time for UW to do the same.

The UW has even been cited with safety and cruelty violations including letting a monkey starve to death, and performing unauthorized surgeries. The UW breeds monkeys and removes babies from their mothers soon after they’re born.

WWAIL Demo

We demo to let the public know about these atrocities but we also demo to let animal abusers know their deeds aren’t going unnoticed.

 What can you do?

Please send a polite letter requesting the UW reevaluate its policies regarding animal experimentation and commit to long-term reduction of the use of any animals for science.

Michael Young, President
301 Gerberding Hall, Box 351230
Seattle, WA 98195
206-543-5010
pres@uw.edu

The University of Washington Board of Regents
139 Gerberding Hall, Box 351264
Seattle, WA 98195-1264
206-543-1633
regents@uw.edu

If you’re a UW grad, you can also contact the alumni association and tell them that you won’t join them (or that you’ll be cancelling your membership) unless the university agrees not to use live animals in their research.

UW Alumni association
Box 359508
Seattle, WA 98195-9508
206-543-0540 or 1-800-AUW-ALUM
Fax: 206-685-0611
uwalumni@uw.edu

If you attend or are employed by the UW you can anonymously report any incidents or patterns of abuse or neglect of animals in the care of the university. Provide as detailed observations as you can, with dates, locations, animals involved, their serial numbers (if possible) the condition of the animals, and what incidents occurred to uwkills@narn.org.

We will protect your identity and initiate the investigation. You can also contact us to let us know what experiments are going on, who the researchers are, and what the animals go through. If you’re a student, please join or volunteer for Campus Animal Rights Educators (CARE) at the UW campus.

Another Worthwhile Petition re Ag-Gag Legislation

As you are aware, courageous undercover investigators have exposed and documented patterns of terrible abuse at numerous factory farms. These have led to recalls for food safety reasons as well as criminal convictions for animal cruelty. Instead of changing agribusiness, ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, wants to criminalize anyone who brings animal abuse to light. (You can read more about ALEC at GreenIsTheNewRed.com — they are also behind efforts to weaken environmental protections and silence free speech online). They believe the factory farms should be left to regulate themselves, like toddlers in candy stores.

Ag-Gag bills have been introduced in nine states this year, and became law in three last year. They don’t just target undercover investigators, but other whistleblowers and journalists. Some of them criminalize anyone who even “possesses” or “distributes” photographs and YouTube videos. Under the model bill devised by Agribusiness and ALEC, investigators, whistleblowers, journalists and anyone who shares the footage they obtain are labeled terrorists.

Please write this oh-so-quick letter below, or a variation thereof, sign it, and send it to ALEC.

To:
ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council)
Ron Scheberle, Executive Director
John Eick, Legislative Analyst, Energy, Environment and Agriculture and Civil Justice Task Forces
Bill Meierling, Senior Director, Communications and Public Affairs
Stop bills that make it a crime to expose animal abuse on factory farms.Consumers have a right to make safe, healthy, and humane decisions about what we buy.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

END DOLPHIN CAPTIVITY THROUGHOUT INDIA

THIS CAN BE DONE. Don’t skim though this and think, hmm…yeah…mm…will do it later…I’ll just…and then think about other things. READ THIS and do it NOW. There ISN’T any better use of your time for the next 5 minutes. I’ll be honest: ten, because I want you to get a piece of paper and write a paper letter. (If you have forgotten how to write because it has been such a long time, or if you want to do BOTH, you can also email the minister directly at mosefgoi@nic.in).

The Indian Minister of Environment and Forests, Shrimati Jayanthi Natarajan, is considering a ban on dolphin captivity in India, with a decision to be made in the coming weeks. India has no dolphins at present, but there are numerous proposals to begin, and it must be stopped before the whole subcontinent is opened to such a trade in misery. (What a great reasons for the Taiji drive fisheries to continue!) We need an OUTPOURING, an AVALANCHE, a DELUGE of letters from everywhere, to convince her that a decision to ban captive dolphins is right, and that people the world over are behind her.

PLEASE MAIL YOUR LETTERS — your friends’ letters, your relatives’ letters, your kids’ letters and drawings –TO YOUR LOCAL INDIAN EMBASSY OR CONSULATE. 

 A list of embassies can be found here. 

LETTER TEMPLATE: 

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing you to express my sincerest gratitude that the Indian Minister of Environment and Forests, Shrimati Jayanthi Natarajan, is considering a nationwide prohibition on dolphin captivity.

It is known that dolphins suffer in captivity. They are extremely intelligent, self-aware beings with emotions, feelings and close relationships to one another and their ocean home. Removing dolphins from the sea and putting them into small tanks or sea pens is removing a huge part of who they are as dolphins and forcing them to endure a life of misery.

India is a culture of compassion. In a world where animals are treated so poorly, India represents a beacon of hope. By enacting a total ban on captivity, not only will thousands of dolphins over the years be spared a life of torture and misery, but people will be encouraged to think about who dolphins truly are – as beings who deserve our respect.

As Mahatma Ghandi famously said, you can judge a society by the way it treats its animals. The Minister has the chance to show the world how compassionate and kind India truly is by denying dolphin-exploiting industries to become established within their borders. I hope she makes the right choice.

Yours truly,

 

(Your Name)