Category Archives: News of Note

Buy A Veggie Burger For a Great Cause This Saturday!

hip hop burger

Let’s keep Keith Tucker spinning veggie burgers!

Keith hosts awesome Hip Hop Green Dinners all over the country to spread the word about tasty, animal-free burgers. I was lucky enough to attend one in Seattle’s Lake City neighborhood a few months ago — yum! He provides great entertainment, too.

These hip hop dinners change lives by doing something as simple and powerful as serving healthy vegan meals to youth and families who may never have had one before. Keith shows them that veganism is possible, delicious — and necessary, for animals, our health and our communities.

Sponsors like Seattle’s Field Roast help ensure that the Hip Hop Green Dinners are free. So do fundraisers like the one Keith is holding this Labor Day Weekend in Seattle, Baltimore and Miami.

Please join the Big Burger Battle Fundraiser, where you can buy a scrumptious Field Roast burger for a great cause!

Details: Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. at The Collaboratory, 5623 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle.

Seattle Veggie Burgers, represent!

(And thanks to our friend Christie Lagally at Living Humane for the heads up!)

Major Successes With Fishing Line Recovery & Recycling Program

fishing lineWe received an encouraging email from Bonnie Anderson today regarding her work with parks departments over implementation of a Monofilament Fishing Line Recovery and Recycling Program.

It’s amazing what she’s been able to accomplish:

  • Her years of effort at the state level are really paying off. Senator Mark Mullet has set aside money in the state’s capital budget for the Puget Sound Corps program to build fishing line recovery bins. The work is being overseen by the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, which will determine how many bins will be built, where they will be located and other specifics.
  • The Sammamish Parks department has joined the Program and will soon install fishing line recycling bins at Pine Lake Park, Beaver Lake Park and Sammamish Landing.
  • The King County Parks department will start the Program by the end of November with 30 recycling bins at Cottage Lake Park,  Five Mile Park, Geneva Park and Dockton Park.  Other locations will soon be determined.
  • The Medina Parks department is considering the Program.  Bonnie is scheduled to meet with the board in September to discuss its possible implementation.
  • The Seattle Parks department has promised to study the Program for a possible project in 2016.
  • The Washington State Parks department has expressed interest in the Program, and Bonnie is providing them with additional information.

Bonnie would like to expand these efforts to other counties that offer recreational fishing. If you or someone you know would like to help, please contact her at:

Thanks and congratulations to Bonnie for all her hard work in pushing to implement the Monofilament Fishing Line Recycling and Recovery Program in as many parks, fishing piers, and marinas as possible!

UNITY, the film (and a special interview with director Shaun Monson)

In his new film, UNITY, writer/director Shaun Monson (the man behind EARTHLINGS) takes an in-depth look at what it truly means to be human. The film presents a message of love, tragedy and hope, all set against the backdrop of some of the most compelling 20th and 21st century footage imaginable.

It’s a one-night cinematic event, playing in multiple locations nationwide on August 12, 2015.

Watch the trailer
Get your tickets

UNITY features a dizzying array of 100 celebrity narrators including Ellen Degeneres, Kevin Spacey, Adrian Grenier, Joaquin Phoenix, Selena Gomez, Adam Levine, Pamela Anderson, Ben Kingsley, Common, Deepak Chopra, Geoffrey Rush, Dr. Dre, Zoe Saldana, Aaron Paul, Jennifer Aniston, Jeff Goldblum, Moby, Susan Sarandon.

We were lucky enough to interrupt Shaun Monson’s busy schedule for an interview.

NARN: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself (where you grew up, what you did before making documentaries, are you vegan and if so, what made you decide to go vegan? If you aren’t, why not)?

SM: I was born and raised in Southern California. I always wanted to be a movie director, but it was a difficult industry to break into. I got my first chance directing a public service announcement commercial. I have been a vegan for around 15 years. I became one after seeing footage of animals being slaughtered for food.

NARN: Why did you decide to make Earthlings? What did you hope to accomplish? Are you happy with its impact?

SM: I made the film Earthlings because at the time, I was not aware of any film that tackled all of the issues involving human abuse of animals for economic purposes. With the movie Earthlings, I hoped to accomplish awareness of this exact issue. I am happy with the impact. It outdid what I had expected the film to do.

NARN: Why did you decide to make Unity? What do you hope to accomplish with it’s release?

SM: Unity is an extension of Earthlings. Earthlings focuses on the achievement of one group of beings (mainly animals), while Unity focuses on the perception of all beings. Like the last question, I hope to accomplish increased awareness.

NARN: I really like that this movie mentions social justice and other systems of oppression in addition to animal exploitation. Can you say a bit about why those issues are important to you and why you wanted to include them in your movie?

SM: Any time we deal with dominion, it is because a group of beings oppress another for whatever reason. On the surface, it may be social justice, but at the core, they deal with the same problem–dominion and all of its forms.

NARN: What other animal- or environmental-related documentaries do you admire?

SM: I like all of them. I commend anyone who is making an effort to raise awareness of suffering, dominion, injustice and other related issues.

NARN: How widely will Unity be distributed? How can we see it? How can we convince all of our friends to see it?

SM: For starters, theatrical distribution will be worldwide. But, since only a small percentage of the world lives within driving distances of a theater that is playing it, another worldwide release will occur online in the fall. As for encouraging friends and family to see it–tell them that if they are to see one documentary this year, please let it be Unity.

NARN: How did you get all of those celebrities to narrate it?

SM: It started with one, then two, then four, then eight and so on. It kept on multiplying. It took many years–not just to record, but to edit together.

Please watch Unity in theaters tomorrow!

The Ethical and Environmental Impacts of Eating Animals

Here’s a can’t-miss event: The Ethical and Environmental Impacts of Eating Animals featuring Gene Baur, founder and president of Farm Sanctuary, and Kathryn Gillespie, UW professor and part of the UW Critical Animal Studies working group.

Where: Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Avenue, Seattle
When: Friday, May 8th at 7:30 pm (doors ope at 6 pm)

Whether you’re a long-time vegan or just thinking about whether veganism is right for you, this will be a terrific evening. Baur and Gillespie will be speaking about animal rights, the value of respecting nature, how to be a conscientious consumer, and have a healthier lifestyle.

Bring your friends and family!

See the Facebook page for more info, or buy your tickets here. Admission is only $5.

A special event with vegan author Ruby Roth

On Saturday, April 11th, 2015 from 2:00 to 4:30 author Ruby Roth will be at Seattle First Baptist Church (1111 Harvard Ave, Seattle, WA 98122) for a special event.

See more at the Facebook event, and be sure to buy your tickets at

ruby rothIn this one-of-a kind lecture, acclaimed author Ruby Roth explores the transformative power of veganism on society and the individual (children included!). Through an examination of pop culture, the controversial media response to her children’s books, and the obstacles one faces by being vegan and raising vegan kids, Roth reveals the invisible forces that shape public thinking about health, children, and animals, strengthening her audience’s resolve to fight the good fight, overcome social and familial pressures, and engage children in healthy eating and animal rights. Whether you’re a vegan veteran or a veg-curious newbie, whether you’re raising kids or work with children other than your own, whether you’re planning a family or involved in animal advocacy, Roth will inspire you to rethink the status quo as well as our cultural approach to raising kids.

The 90-minute presentation and Q&A portion of the event is designed for adults (babies in arms welcome). Free onsite childcare will be provided on a very limited basis–please see ticket page for full information. The presentation and Q&A will be followed by a book signing and a reading for children of V Is for Vegan. Tickets for adults are $15 and children are free.

Featured on CNN, FOX, Today, and other major media outlets, Ruby Roth is the world’s leading author and illustrator of vegan and vegetarian books for children. Roth has received international attention for her sensitive, yet frank advocacy of a vegan diet and lifestyle. Complementing her degrees in art and American Studies, she has researched animal agriculture, health, nutrition, and the benefits of a plant-based diet for over a decade. Learn more about Ruby Roth at and on Facebook at:

“Sportman’s Act”: You Shall Not Pass

One definition of the word “sport” is as follows:  “An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.  I will let you contemplate such things as baiting, blinds, beer, hunting accidents, night scopes, decoys, lures, hounds, high-powered rifles, crossbows,  camouflage AND MANY MORE as you mentally list the reasons hunting and trapping ARE NOT SPORTS.

In view of that…let’s shoot down the mis-named “Sportsman’s Act”. Once again, a small faction of wealthy trophy hunters is pressuring your elected officials to allow the importation of  — are you SERIOUS? — threatened polar bear trophies from Canada. They also want to open millions of acres of public lands to “sport” hunting and commercial trapping. And they want to do it without evaluating possible implications for animals, habitat and the opinions of Americans who enjoy our nation’s wild spaces without having to kill the inhabitants.  This bill would also permanently strip the Environmental Protection Agency of the authority to regulate lead shot and other ammunition under the Toxic Substances Control Act, and would add lead sinkers and other fishing gear to the existing exemptions. To add insult to injury, the bill would direct up to $10 million annually toward improving access to landlocked public lands, allocate a larger proportion of existing federal funding to building and maintaining shooting ranges on federal and non-federal lands, and require federal land managers to consider how their plans may impact hunting, fishing and recreational shooting.  Do I need to remind you of the suffering involved for animals left to die slowly of bad shots, for their families and children, for animals trapped for days in agony, whose only release is (maybe) the trapper and his dogs? Hunting and trapping are NOT sports. They are HORRORS.

Please, if you don’t already know who they are and how to get in touch with them, find your federal legislators here:

and make a brief, polite phone call today to urge them to OPPOSE S. 405, the Sportsmen’s Act, and protect our wildlife and wildlands.  (I know you don’t FEEL polite. I don’t either. But let’s pull ourselves together.) Follow up with an email (links at the same site above).



The Situation for Lions is Worsening Too

I thought it would be a while before we needed to say this.  Or maybe lessons have been learned (doubtful) from the all-but-disappearance of the rhinos.  The African lion is in danger of extinction. At least half and possibly up to 80% of the African lions have disappeared in the last 30 years.  At that rate everyone reading this is likely to see a lion-less day.  Extinction factors like habitat loss, human-lion conflict, poaching (for the Far East), loss of prey animals, and overutilization for commercial/recreational purposes (including hunting) are only accelerating, all threatening the 35,000 African lions left in the wild. The US Fish & Wildlife Service has proposed listing the African lion as threatened under the Endangered Species Act — and if even they make such a suggestion, you know things are pretty dire. Such a listing helps threatened species by prohibiting certain trade activities, generating conservation benefits (increased awareness, research, funding for on site efforts), and providing limited financial aid for programs to conserve the species in foreign countries.

This Endangered Species Act ‘threatened’ listing still doesn’t stop the import of so-called “sport”-hunted lions into the US.  A special rule has been proposed (that also applies to other protected species)that would only allow the import of “sport”-hunted lion trophies from countries with a scientifically sound management plan for African lions. The US Fish & Wildlife Department is seeking public comment on listing African lions as threatened. So please, follow the directions below, helpfully provided by PAWS in California:

Click here to go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal. In the Search field, enter FWS-R9-ES-2012-0025, which is the docket number for this action. Then click on the Search button. You may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!” and typing your comment into the box.
Sample comment (please edit and personalize your comment as much as possible):
I strongly urge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list the African lion as “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act. Given the alarming decrease in the lion population and the serious challenges these animals face, it is critical that our nation takes an active part in protecting this iconic species. If we don’t act now, African lions will soon disappear from the planet.
By listing the African lion as “endangered,” the U.S. will set a standard for other countries to follow, promote conservation, and provide greater protection for these imperiled animals.

AND While You Are Calling Olympia…

…to ask your representatives to oppose HB 1104, the Ag-Gag bill, please also ask them to SUPPORT HB 1131, which is an important animal protection bill to help curtail trafficking in wildlife and wildlife parts by prohibiting the purchase, sale, or transfer of elephant ivory and rhinoceros horns.

If you’ve already called…call back.


URGENT PS on Washington’s Ag-Gag Bill

Several states have already introduced Ag-Gag bills since the beginning of the year, but the one that is moving the fastest is, shamefully, Washington’s.   It is set to have a hearing this coming Tuesday, January 20th.                                                                                                         WE CAN ACT BEFORE THEN!  Make sure you call your representative now to ask him or her to oppose HB 1104 (a link to find your legislators is in the previous blog post on the subject). A tip for the shy ones among us: if you call over the weekend, you can just leave a message. (I would still recommend calling during business hours though, as voice mail boxes can be full.)

The Humane League offers the following great suggestions for involvement:

·         Submit a letter to the editor. Getting letters printed in your local newspaper is an easy and effective way to reach thousands of people on the issue. Plus, lawmakers and their staff regularly read the letters section to have a pulse on what the citizens in their district care about. We already have some letters drafted and instructions on how to submit them – and submitting only takes 30 seconds. To do this, please email Sarah Swingle at Just tell her which city you live in and she’ll get you started!

·         Phonebank: You can help out big time by committing to make phone calls for one hour (or more!) to Humane Society members in Washington, asking them to call their state representatives about the bill. It’s easy, effective and flexible. Calls will start tomorrow and end on Tuesday at 10:30am EST. If you can make some calls, email Kenny Torrella and he will get you started.



Ag-Gag Bill Introduced in the Washington State Legislature


Evil never, ever, sleeps.                                                                                                           Two Republican representatives, Joe Schmick of Colfax and J.T. Wilcox of Yelm, have sponsored Washington State’s first  2015 attempt at Ag-Gag legislation: House Bill 1104.  Schmick’s district is adjacent to Idaho, and he openly admits HB 1104 is modeled on Idaho’s new Ag-Gag law.  He says he wants a “strong deterrent” against taking pictures or recording operations of agricultural facilities without permission.  Guilty would be  anyone who “enters an agricultural production facility that is not open to the public and, without the facility owner’s express written consent or pursuant to judicial process or clear statutory authorization, makes audio or video recordings of the assets or conduct of an agricultural production facility’s operations … .” Penalties for conviction could include up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.Fully half the states have introduced such bills, and about half a dozen have passed.  The first such laws were adopted in 1990-91 in Kansas, North Dakota and Montana. Four more states — Idaho, Utah, Iowa and Missouri — have adopted similar measures since 2010.

I don’t need to tell you how important it is that not a single new state pass this legislation.  In addition to being a moral and ethical issue, a matter of educating people on exactly what happens when they pay others to turn animals into food, and in addition to being a freedom of speech issue, remember it is also a food safety issue: undercover investigations have led to the largest recalls of meat in history.                 Karma, you may think.  I did.                                                                                               I find it interesting, however, that the meat industry doesn’t care either.  Retaining profits by keeping what goes on secret is way more important than public safety.                                                                                  Why would you think people who don’t care about the animal suffering would care about your health?

Anyway…we will be hearing more about this, but it is never too soon to begin. Go here to find your legislator:

Call, write, email. Monthly. Weekly.

Good article on the subject by Will Potter:

Action alerts, news, tips, stories, and resources for Animal Advocates in the NW