Primate Lib Week 2012: Kick-Off and Letter Writing Party

“We must always take sides.  Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.  Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”  ―    Elie Wiesel

As you know, Oct 6-14, 2012 is National Primate Liberation week. While we aren’t excited that researchers continue to abuse and exploit our close cousins in the name of human health, we are excited to get together to talk about what we can do for these monkeys and future generations of primates.

We plan to kick-off the week  with a great social and information sharing event and letter writing party. If you are vegan and have been thinking of getting more involved, this is the ideal gathering to learn more about NARN and what is possible when a group of people get together to make a difference.

letterforblog

The current president of NARN will speak about what type of primate experiments and financial support come into the NW and we’ll have other guests as well. We’ll also show a trailer for the upcoming documentary screening of Maximum Tolerated Dose, which will screen on Monday evening. Vegan snacks and treats will abound – Violet Sweet Shoppe is even donating some vegan sweets.

NARN will provide some sample letters designed for: a) UW Leaders and Policy Makers b) Those Currently Involved in Primate Research, c) other academics and professors at the UW who would be willing to open up the conversation with their students and colleagues and d) press and media. We will have physical paper and envelopes, and some old stationary and cards too. We can be creative and serious about our cause at the same time.  Children are welcome – as long as they are old enough (or young enough) to see photos of animals in cages and hear open discussion about why it matters. There won’t be anything specifically gory, but use your best discretion. Their letters may end up being some of the most influential.

Bring your laptop if you have one! We have more than 30 different people to write – sending emails and typing is much faster – even if less fun. We’ll have sample letters on a memory stick for you to take and modify – adding your own voice and ideas.

And remember: For every single letter or email that you you write, you’ll be entered into the drawing for this amazing vintage Animal Rights shirt commemorating the liberation of an infant rhesus monkey, not unlike the many infant monkeys that suffer in UW labs today. For more information about the activities for the week RSVP on the Facebook Event Page and for more information about the experiments and abuses in UW labs visit uwkills.wordpress.com.

See you Sunday!

5:30 PM
University Friends Meeting Hall
4001 9th Ave NE, Seattle

Free parking, bike racks (and right off the Burke-Gilman trail), and on many bus lines!

 

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Action Alerts

 

 

Tell Paris NHP (Non Human Primates) that Animal Exploitation is Not Ethical Business
Paris NHP sells primates to labs all over the Us for so that they can be used in laboratories.  Paris proudly toutes their services and client list
http://www.parisnhp.com/index.html

Let them know how you feel about their business of buying and selling living creatures to be tortured and killed in the name of science.  Be polite though, because we aren’t the uncivilized ones.

Paris NHP
Box 1454
Edmonds, WA 98020-1524
425-673-1264
Fax: 425-673-1625
WRM@parisnhp.com

 

 

Tell the FDA: Crushed beaver anal sacs are not a “natural flavoring”
For years, various food companies have been using “castoreum” to flavor ice cream and other foods. The problem? Castoreum is a fancy word for a compound from the crushed anal “sacs” of beavers.  Not only is this stuff disgusting and inhumane, it’s kept totally secret. Under FDA rules, companies don’t need to include castoreum on the ingredients list — they can just call it “natural flavoring”.  The FDA normally just hears from big business lobbyists, but if we all speak out, we can demand they adopt honest rules about this disgusting practice. That’s why we need everyone to contact them.

Tell the FDA: Please stop allowing “castoreum” to be considered just another “natural flavor” and require food manufacturers to include it on the ingredients. Customers deserve to know when they’re eating animal products.

Federal Drug Administration (FDA)
10903 New Hampshire Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20993
phone (888) INFO-FDA (888) 463-6332)
online contact form – http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/ContactFDA/default.htm

 

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News of Note

 

Citizens rally for Mumbai’s tired horses
A group of citizens and animal rights NGOs have come together to collect 10,000 signatures in order to stop cruelty towards horses in the city and bring about a ban on Victoria horse carriages. The commencement of the monsoon in the city adds to the distress of over 250 horses, which are left illegally tied up in the open on city beaches, without proper stables, and hence ruthlessly exposed to the elements.

 

Two more sea lions shot to death along Oregon coast, bringing number to about 20
For the second time in as many days, researchers were called Monday to the coast to necropsy a sea lion. And like the first, this one had also been shot.  That brings to about 20 the number of dead sea lions found in Northern Oregon and Southern Washington in just two months. Almost all bore clear evidence of gunshot wounds, others showed obvious trauma also likely caused by gunshots, said Dalin D’Alessandro, a Portland State University research assistant with the Northern Oregon-Southern Washington Marine Mammal Stranding Network.


Proposed Horse Slaughterhouse Polarizes Industry

One New Mexico businessman’s bid to convert his now-defunct cattle slaughterhouse into a horse slaughter plant is dividing his community. Proponents of horse slaughter in the U.S. agree that it should be strictly regulated to ensure the humane handling of the animals during the slaughter process, but opponents say population control, not slaughterhouses, is the solution to the growing horse abandonment problem.

 

Scott Jurek on running ultramarathons, being a vegan
Jurek is not only the North American record holder for most ground covered running in a day, but he completed more than 110 miles in 24 hours (four marathons back to back), each with under a four-hour average. He’s also one of the few elite athletes in the world who follows a vegan diet

 

Vegan column stirs distasteful reactions
A few weeks ago, I wrote a column about my attempt to become a vegan — that is to say, one who partakes neither of meat nor fish nor dairy.  It’s not an easy life, I said. It seemed like a fairly non-controversial thing to say, although I was sure that meat-eaters would respond with scorn and vitriol.  As it turned out, I was wrong. Everybody responded with scorn and vitriol — meat-eaters, vegetarians, vegans, and organic farmers, as well as people who think of Big Macs as health food.

 

U.S. author aims to bring vegan life to Main Street
When Victoria Moran was growing up in Kansas City, then home of the second largest stockyards in the United States, the concept of eating anything but meat was so unheard of that even the first salad bars were revolutionary.  Moran, who was a vegetarian before swearing off animal products such as milk and eggs.
Getting there took many years and detours, an evolution she has tried to make easier for others with “Main Street Vegan,” a book written with her daughter, who has been a vegan from birth, that aims to help people make a change that she admits can still be a challenge.

 

Michelle Pfeiffer: Why I became a vegan
Michelle Pfeiffer admits in a new interview that vanity played a part in her decision to adopt a vegan lifestyle, but she adds that more than anything it was because of a desire to live a healthier life.  The 54-year-old actress tells Dr. Sanjay Gupta on Monday’s edition of “Piers Morgan Tonight” that watching his documentary, “The Last Heart Attack,” gave her plenty of food for thought.

 

Bradley goes vegan before fights
“It’s been four years since I’ve been doing it this way. Every fight I get prepared for, I go vegan for about 3½ months.”Bradley said he likes how it makes him feel.  “I just feel so much better. Cleaner, mental clarity,” he said. “You see the physique. I don’t lose any muscle. I’m a lean, mean, fighting machine.”
Bradley first began following a vegan diet in training when he challenged Junior Witter for a junior welterweight title in England in 2008. Bradley scored a knockdown in the sixth round and went on to win a split decision and his first world title.

 

Vegetarian diet provides good nutrition, health benefits, study finds
A vegetarian diet provides adequate nutrition to adults and children and can also reduce health problems, an Australian study has found.  The scientific research review, “Is a vegetarian diet adequate?” published in the Medical Journal of Australia on Monday, puts to rest the long-held belief a vegetarian diet lacks sufficient protein and iron, The Advertiser reported.


Pregnancy complications not cut by omega-3s: study
Data from 2005 to 2008 on 2,400 pregnant women who took omega-3 supplements found they did not have a statistically significant lower risk of gestational diabetes or preeclampsia compared with women who took vegetable oil pills, suggesting that omega-3 intake may not prevent the onset of such conditions. The findings were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

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News of Note

 

 The Myth of Sustainable Meat
The industrial production of animal products is nasty business. From mad cow, E. coli and salmonella to soil erosion, manure runoff and pink slime, factory farming is the epitome of a broken food system…Opponents of industrialized agriculture have been declaring for over a decade that how humans produce animal products is one of the most important environmental questions we face. We need a bolder declaration. After all, it’s not how we produce animal products that ultimately matters. It’s whether we produce them at all.

 

What’s Even Grosser Than Pink Slime?
Last week, two news items crossed my desk that demonstrate the meat industry’s power and its threat to public health.  The first is the extraordinary, bipartisan political defense of the embattled, ammonia-laced ground-beef filler that has become known as “pink slime.” The second is a proposed plan by the Obama administration to fire USDA inspectors and let the poultry industry inspect its own slaughterhouse lines—while simultaneously speeding up the kill line.

 

Arsenic in Our Chicken?
my topic today is a pair of new scientific studies suggesting that poultry on factory farms are routinely fed caffeine, active ingredients of Tylenol and Benadryl, banned antibiotics and even arsenic.  “We were kind of floored,” said Keeve E. Nachman, a co-author of both studies and a scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Center for a Livable Future.  “It’s unbelievable what we found.”

 

The Challenge of Going Vegan
“The dominant social-cultural norm in the West is meat consumption,” said Hanna Schösler, a researcher in the Institute for Environmental Studies at Vrije University in Amsterdam, who has studied consumer acceptance of meat substitutes. “The people who want to shift to a more vegetarian diet find they face physical constraints and mental constraints. It’s not very accepted in our society not to eat meat.”

 

Five fit female vegetarian and vegan athletes
There’s a myth that vegans don’t get enough nutrients, but then there’s athletes like ultramarathoner Brendan Brazier, whose book “Thrive” explains how a plant-based diet helps improve performance and recovery when training, and superstar sprinter Carl Lewis, who credits a vegan diet for helping him win all those Olympic gold medals. http://narn.org/blog/wp-admin/post.php?post=476&action=editBrendan and Carl are not the only ones to tout a plant-based lifestyle — check out how it has helped these five vegan and vegetarian female athletes stay fast and fit.


FDA lays out steps to reduce overuse of antibiotics in animals grown for food
The Food and Drug Administration called on drug companies Wednesday to help limit the use of antibiotics given to farm animals, a decades-old practice that scientists say has contributed to a surge in dangerous, drug-resistant bacteria.  Antibiotics are mixed with animal feed to help livestock, pigs and chickens put on weight and stay healthy in crowded barns.

 

Monkeys learn to tell words from nonsense letters
Researchers report in the journal Science that they trained six Guinea baboons (Papio papio) to distinguish real, four-letter English words such as “done” and “vast” from non-words such as “dran” and “lons.” After six weeks, the baboons learned to pick out dozens of words – as many as 308 in the case of the clever Dan, and 81 for Violette – from a sea of 7,832 non-words.

 

Matrix magic makes veterinary surgery less intimidating
To help students prepare for the common surgical procedure he and his colleagues collaborated with a Sydney company, Studio Kite, which specialises in animatronic creatures for film and television, to produce the silicone-based animal model – a ”world-first” – and ensure it was as realistic as possible.

 

Why we can’t trust animal experiments
Listen to Ernst Boris Chain, co-discoverer of penicillin with Florey & Flemming at the thalidomide trial, in 1970, under oath. He said: “No animal experiment with a medicament, even if it is carried out on several animal species including primates under all conceivable conditions, can give any guarantee that the medicament tested in this way will behave the same in humans, because in many respects the human is not the same as the animal.”

 

After nuclear disasters, wildlife thrives
Until now, it had been believed that radiation following the Chernobyl disaster must have had a dramatic effect on bird populations by causing damage to birds’ antioxidant defence mechanisms….Indeed, says Smith, “Some Belarussian and Ukrainian scientists who live and work in the Chernobyl exclusion zone have reported big increases in wildlife populations since the accident, due to the removal of humans from the area.”

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Proposed Egg Bill Not All It’s Cracked Up To Be

On January 23rd, a bill was introduced to the 112th Congress that aims to establish a national standard of welfare for egg-laying hens. The Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2012 (H.R.3798) attempts for the first time to codify housing and treatment standards for chickens raised for egg production on a federal level. This bill was written collaboratively by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the United Egg Producers (UEP), an industry trade group representing farmers and companies involved with egg production, marketing, and selling.

We at NARN have taken a look at this bill, and after careful review, we’ve come to the conclusion that this bill as it is currently written is problematic on several levels, and thus our official position is that we do not support it.

If passed, the bill would require cages for egg-laying hens to provide a minimum of amount of 144 square inches of floor space per hen, but both new and existing cages will not be subject to this minimum space requirement until a full 15 years after the bill’s passage.

Currently, the space afforded for battery-cage hens is as little as 67 to 86 square inches (according to current guidelines by the UEP), which is less than the size of a standard sheet of paper. While an increase to the minimum of 144 square inches is larger than what hens currently endure, it translates to only one square foot. For an animal that spends much of her natural life running, hopping, strutting, and being physically active, one square foot per hen still is not enough space, and can hardly be considered a significant increase, much less humane. It would be akin to confining a human being to a floor space the size of a bathtub. According to the Humane Farming Association, a hen needs at least 216 square inches just to spread her wings.

The bill requires existing cages to provide “adequate environmental enrichments” starting fifteen years from passage of the bill. New cages must provide these “enrichments” starting nine years after passage. The bill allows the term “adequate environmental enrichments” to be defined by the Secretary of Agriculture, a position typically staffed by agribusiness executives or supporters (currently the position is held by Tom Vilsack, who as Iowa governor was a leading advocate for Monsanto, genetic engineering, and factory farming). This allows the barest concessions, such as plastic strips, to be considered as “nests” and “enrichments,” which will lead the public to believe that hens are living humane lives. The bill also allows egg-carton labeling to include the term “enriched cages” which would deflect public concern and increase egg sales from hens confined in cages. But in reality, hens will continue to live in crowded and unsanitary conditions. Nedim Buyukmihci, professor emeritus of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California-Berkley, says of the bill: “The cages defined by the legislation will in no meaningful way reduce the unimaginable suffering endured by the hens. Hens will still not be able to get proper exercise, they still will be too crowded to even properly stretch their wings, perches will be at an ineffectual height, and nest boxes will not be conducive to the needs for laying eggs.”

So-called “colony” cages, that this bill would codify, allows around 8 hens to be crowded into a cage the size of a file cabinet drawer.

Because of the glacial pace at which these changes would be enacted, it is telling that among those who support the bill are egg producers. The Association of California Egg Farmers, Colorado Egg Producers Association, Florida Poultry Association, Michigan Agri-Business Association, Michigan Allied Poultry Industry, and the North Carolina Egg Association support these meager changes because they then will no longer feel economic pressure to enact changes more quickly. As this is a national bill, it will supersede existing state laws that have stronger protections and will slow down the pace of changes that are already occurring due to state and public pressure. Additionally, small producers are exempt from having to enact any of the measures in the bill at all.

While animal advocacy groups such as Animal Legal Defense Fund, Farm Sanctuary, Mercy For Animals, In Defense of Animals, Compassion over Killing, the ASPCA, and the Humane League support the bill, other animal advocacy groups such as Animal Welfare Institute, Associated Humane Societies, Canadians for Ethical Treatment of Animals, Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM), Friends of Animals, Humane Farming Association, and United Poultry Concerns oppose this bill. We are among those who see as problematic the collaboration with an industry that views living sentient beings as mere commodities to be used and abused for economic gain. We do not agree that industry should be allowed to write their own rules and regulations.

The proponents of this bill are hailing this as a “victory” for the animals and say this bill would eliminate battery cages. But there is absolutely nothing in this bill that does so. “Batteries” consist of rows and tiers of identical units; in this case the units are cages, and there is no language at all in the bill that addresses batteries. Egg-laying hens will still be locked inside windowless buildings, crowded in cages stacked from the floor and lined up in long rows, just as they are now. There are no requirements to reduce the use of cages; instead, this bill codifies the use of battery cages. Rather than being “a step in the right direction,” this bill is a dead-end for the future of hens kept for egg-production.

Much work has been done on the state and local level to enact swifter and more comprehensive changes that would significantly reduce the amount of the most egregious abuses by animal-based businesses. This weak federal standard would deny state legislatures the ability to pass laws to outlaw the use of cages or to enact stricter regulations, would deny voters the right and ability to pass initiatives banning cages, and would nullify existing state laws like ones passed in Arizona, California, Michigan and Ohio.

We encourage you to contact your US Representative (at www.house.gov) to vote against establishing egg factory cages as a national standard that could never be challenged or changed by state law or public vote. This bill would keep hens forever suffering in small cages, where they could never engage in the many natural behaviors essential for their most basic health and well being.

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Action Alerts

Tell Amazon Fish and Pets to stop selling puppies

Little Amazon is a pet store at 10316 Aurora Avenue.
Currently they do not have puppies but they are planning on ordering a shipment for the summer.  Customers have been told that the puppies come from Kansas and Texas, and that they can order any breed a customer wants.

Please call Little Amazon politely ask them to stop selling puppies

206-528-1646

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Take Action: Urge Congress to Support the Great Ape Protection Act

The Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act (H.R.1513/S.810) has been re-introduced in the 112th Congress. This bill will end the use of chimpanzees for invasive research procedures, shut down federal breeding programs, and release federally-owned chimpanzees to permanent homes in sanctuaries.

The United States is the last country to use chimpanzees in large-scale invasive experiments, and while chimpanzees are our closest genetic relatives, there is still enough substantial differences in physiology, genetics, and susceptibility to diseases to make them poor models in research. Millions of dollars wasted and decades of research with inconclusive results have shown that the use of chimpanzees has not provided any advancement towards cures that human-based research has provided. There are over 500 chimpanzees that are federally owned, and by releasing them to sanctuaries, the Great Ape Protection Act will save taxpayers $20-25 million annually.

The bill has the leadership of Representative Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) as well as 42 cosponsors already signed on in the U.S. House, and Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) in the U.S. Senate.

Please take a moment and send an automated letter to your Senators and your House Representative to encourage them to support an end to the confinement and suffering of chimpanzees being used in experiments. The letter is programmed to be directed to your legislators that represent you in your area, and has the option of using a pre-written request or one that you’ve written. Encourage others you know to sign on as well. Thank you.

cross-posted to UW Kills Animals.com

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News of Note

Vets Recognize Animal ‘Welfare’ in Oath
In January, the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA) published an article that announced a change in the language of the Veterinarian’s Oath to emphasize a commitment  not just to animal health  but to animal welfare. This would include the “prevention of animal suffering.”  For decades, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has upheld confinement farming practices, including veal crates, gestation crates and battery cages, and for years, strongly opposed revisions to the oath.

Board would set poultry, livestock care rules
During the past two years, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio, Utah, Vermont and West Virginia have all passed legislation creating livestock and/or poultry advisory boards, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association of Schaumburg, Ill.  “Rather than providing real reform, agribusiness is giving the illusion of reform, when in reality it’s simply putting even more foxes in charge of the hen house,” said Paul Shapiro, a Humane Society spokesman.


New state standards board to examine treatment of farm animals
The Kentucky Livestock Care Standards Commission, created last year by the General Assembly, is debating the complexities of how farm animals should be treated.  For instance: is it OK to remove tails, horns and beaks without anesthesia? To confine egg-laying chickens in cages where they can’t extend their wings or sows in stalls that don’t allow them to turn around?

Animal welfare expert prods dairy producers
Temple Grandin, the autistic animal welfare expert whose life became a hit HBO biopic, thinks there are too many lame, dirty, skinny dairy cows out there.  She also thinks major dairy producers, including Dallas-based Dean Foods Co., need to step up audits of their suppliers to help reduce those “bad outcomes.”  “The dairy industry’s gotta get the lameness fixed,” said Grandin

Cut red meat to lower cancer risk
Bringing home the bacon might not be such a great idea, according to stricter new dietary advice from the British government issued Friday.  In the first new guidelines since 1998, Britain advised people to help prevent cancer by cutting down on steaks, hamburgers, sausages and other red meat. Government experts say people should eat no more than 1 pound of red meat a week, or 2.5 ounces every day, significantly less than it previously recommended.

Photographing cows or other farm scenery could land you in jail under Senate bill
Commentary: When cameras are outlawed..
Florida State Senator Jim Norman wants to protect farmers from radical animal-rights activists. But while we appreciate his intent and his efforts to bring attention to the issue, his proposed law seems a bit extreme.  Norman, has proposed a bill that would make it a first-degree felony to photograph a farm without written permission from the owner. His proposal comes in response to recent, well-publicized incidents in which activists have released photographs or videos showing alleged animal abuse on livestock operations.


Senate measure takes stand against animal fighting
Animal fighting might be “a way of life” in southern West Virginia, but it is also one that could cost participants dearly if a Senate-passed bill reaches the governor’s desk.


US researchers defend animal testing
US researchers defended animal testing, telling a small group at one of the biggest science conferences in the United States that not doing animal research would be unethical and cost human lives.

“Farm to Fridge” exposes truth about meat, dairy and egg production

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