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Animal Activism 101 April 21 2013

NARN’s Animal Activism 101 is just around the corner and we are really excited. We hope that we can make the most of the two hours that you’ll spend with us!

First, for those of you who have never done activism before, we will share some ideas on how to pick the right activities for your skills, strengths, and interests and how to actually get started. For those of you who have done some activism, but are new to scene, we’ll share some tips, tricks, and best practices not only from NARN, but from other activists around the world.

Image for Animal Activism 101 April 21, 2013

Get ready to talk about the mechanics of: tabling, leafleting, demonstrations, writing, online activism, corporate campaigning, and using your unique talents and interests in making the world a better place for animals and spreading veganism far and wide.

We’ll also talk about dealing with stress, dabble in the psychology of change, and how to be strategic in planning your activism. We’ll even chat about dealing with people on a personal level.

 

We want to build the community of NW vegan and animal activists to be strong and connected. We can learn from each other, share what we know, support each other, and most importantly be as effective as possible for the animals. The animals can’t wait. They need us now. Their future depends on our work!

Sunday, April 21, 2013
12 – 2 pm
Cascade People’s Center
309 Pontius Ave N, Seattle, Washington 98109

Please RSVP on Facebook (or email info@narn.org) so we know how much snacks to bring. If you want to bring something to share, please let us know.

Stand up. Speak out. Get involved.

Activist Willing to Learn

We’ve been planning some great content for the upcoming Animal Activism 101 session April 21, and thought now would be a great time to share some recommended reading. If you are interested in the whys and hows of getting active for animals, or are looking to augment your activism or animal rights knowledge, we recommend three books:

Striking at the Roots CoverStriking at the Roots: A Practical Guide to Animal Activism by by Mark Hawthorne (Dec 20, 2007). This book is perfect for getting a handle on exactly WHAT one can do to spread veganism or fight animal exploitation in ways that truly can work. It covers the basics from leafleting, letter writing, tabling, protests, and outreach all the way through corporate campaigning, multimedia, and direct action.  Mark also offers a great chapter on legal issues and another on caring for yourself as an activist. Each area he provides a success story of the practice in action and solid “how to” information. Make this your first stop from your couch to world changer.

Change of Heart CoverChange of Heart: What Psychology Can Teach Us About Spreading Social Change by Nick Cooney (Dec 1, 2010). This book answers the questions that so many activists and non-profit folks ask: what is the MOST effective action to take or way to behave to make the most impact. Nick synthesizes research from Behavioral Economics and Psychological disciplines to explain how humans act (both rationally and irrationally) to information and other people. If you really want help animals today and into the future and want to make your demonstrations, letters, outreach, leafleting, fundraising, or blogging more effective and meaningful, pick up this book.

Lifelong Activist Book CoverThe Lifelong Activist: How to Change the World Without Losing Your Way by Hillary Rettig (Nov 15, 2006). This book is for those of you who are getting worn down or discouraged AND for those of you just getting started. Be proactive about your own psychological and emotional health and learn about managing your mission, your fears, and your relationships with others. Don’t let burn out end your efforts to change the world. The world needs you. The animals need you. We need you!

And some even better news: if you life in the Seattle area, can you check out the first two books, for free, from the Vegan Haven lending library (call ahead to see if they are available, they are popular titles). All three are available through the Seattle Public Library system, but are often checked out, so reserve a copy soon! If you want to have your very own copy, so you can write notes and keep them handy, have Left Bank Books, Elliot Bay Book Co, or Vegan Haven order you a copy.

Already read these three? Here are some other titles to consider for your bedside table. Tell us what you think of them or recommend some others for us on Facebook!

  • The Animal Activist’s Handbook: Maximizing Our Positive Impact in Today’s World (2009)
  • For the Prevention of Cruelty: The History and Legacy of Animal Rights Activism in the United States (2006)
  • Muzzling a Movement: The Effects of Anti-Terrorism Law, Money, and Politics on Animal Activism (2010)
  • Defiant Daughters: 21 Women on Art, Activism, Animals, and the Sexual Politics of Meat (2013)
  • Strategic Action for Animals: A Handbook on Strategic Movement Building, Organizing, and Activism for Animal Liberation (2008)
  • How to Change the World in 30 Seconds: A Web Warrior’s Guide to Animal Advocacy Online (2013)

“Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

You Are An Agent of History

The Bad News:

We humans systematically breed, torture, and brutally kill billions of animals each year for pleasure. We do unspeakable things to our fellow earthlings – creatures with physical and emotional needs similar to ours. Most people’s eyes, hearts, and minds are closed to these horrors. Most of us are complicit and literally pay others to do these atrocious deeds to animals. It is happening right now as you read this. Millions are in pain, suffering, dying without hope in crates, shackles, cages, and boxes all over the world. 98% of human society finds this is acceptable.

The Good News:

Things change. Just in the past 5 years the blinders have started to fall, people from all backgrounds around the world have been moving in droves to a more compassionate and reasonable lifestyle. People have taken to the streets in Italy, Cork, Syracuse, Turkey, and of course, Seattle to speak out for those who can’t speak for themselves. Almost every week you hear of a new influential person who is trying veganism. There are more positive sentiments online around veganism than there are negative. The tide is very slowly turning.

 

What Matters:

Things don’t change without us. We are the problem and the solution. The animals in cages today, and their offspring for generations to come, are counting on YOU AND ME to help them, to do something. There is no magical group working working for their rights and freedom except us. You, me, your mom, you weird cousin, that guy holding a sign by himself in the rain outside the UW Primate Testing Facility. We are their hope. If we don’t tell people what is happening to animals, hearts will remain hard and closed. If we don’t work to change things, they won’t change. The suffering will continue unabated. If we chose being popular over fighting injustice, then we should all despair.

|| OBSERVE || PUBLIC OPINIONS || Animal Rights Protest March || Dame Street || Dublin || Republic of Ireland ||

So What? You matter. Right now, decide to use your talents, energy, and love to work to evolve the human race. Join the groups that will push society into a saner, kinder, and more sustainable future. By helping to open others’ hearts and minds, you’ll open cages. Every animal counts. Every cage matters. The way we are in the world is the root of evil, and we must strike at the roots.

Being vegan means you’ll be on the right side of history. But being an activist means you are an agent of history.

If you aren’t sure how to get started, come to the next NARN open meeting January 13.

 

“It does not take a majority to prevail … but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” – Samuel Adams

Action Alerts

 

Urge NPR and Its Member Stations to Promote a Compassionate Holiday Season

Contact NPR and urge them to ENCOURAGE and PROMOTE compassionate holiday dining AND respectful attitudes toward turkeys!

Gary E. Knell, President & CEO
National Public Radio
635 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
http://help.npr.org/npr/includes/customer/npr/custforms/contactus.aspx

INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS

National Public Radio is excellently positioned to encourage compassionate holiday dining and respectful attitudes toward turkeys if its corporate staff hears from listeners. In addition to contacting NPR’s President & CEO Gary E. Knell, please send an email to your local NPR station with your request for compassionate holiday programming. You can find your local station by entering in your zip code on this website:
http://www.npr.org/templates/stations/stations/

Click here to see a sample letter to NPR

 

 

Ask Congress to Investigate Wildlife Services Now!

Wildlife Services’ agent Jamie P. Olson sic’d his dogs on live coyotes that were captured in steel-jawed traps. Wildlife belong to all Americans; they must not be brutalized by federal employees. Tell Congress to investigate Wildlife Services and rogue agents like Jamie P. Olson who photographed himself siccing his dogs on live coyotes that were captured in steel-jawed traps.

Sign an online petition (copy/paste URL into your browser):
https://secure3.convio.net/wg/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=547

And/or better yet, make direct contact:

Find and contact your U.S. Representative
http://www.house.gov/

TALKING POINTS

Wildlife Services is a costly, outdated, rogue agency that has no purpose in modern times. This week revealed more heinous acts committed by a Wildlife Services’ agent upon our wildlife. Wildlife Services’ agent Jamie P. Olson photographed himself siccing his dogs on live coyotes that were captured in steel-jawed traps.

The news exposed the horrible, unethical behavior by Mr. Olson on November 2, 2012. But this is not an isolated incident. As former Wildlife Services’ agent Gary Strader told the Sacramento Bee, killing trapped animals with dogs “‘is very common . . . It has never been addressed by the higher-ups. They know it happens on a regular basis.’”

As the Bee also documented earlier this year, Wildlife Services kills tens of thousands of animals annually without accountability or oversight. The agency’s war on wildlife endangers the public, their pets, and even its own agents. The death toll on our wildlife populations is unconscionable.

The agency’s killing programs are inhumane, unscientific, expensive, ineffective and occasionally illegal. They are certainly unnecessarily cruel. Congress must immediately investigate this rogue agency. No federal agency needs oversight more than Wildlife Services.

Where is your veganism headed?

We’ve noticed that there are many phases or “faces” of veganism. They aren’t in the same order for everyone, but maybe you recognize yourself in some of these. They can last for 10  days or for 10 years. Sometimes all at once.

  1. I’m vegan! I’m my family thinks I am a freak and I want to be loved so I pretty much never mention it to my grandma, and I downplay any inconveniences and never talk about how others hurt animals around people who aren’t vegan. I don’t use the world vegan often and nobody at my work probably even knows. Veganism is a personal, private choice.
  2. I’m vegan and I want some comfort food! I try to make or eat everything that is labeled vegan. It doesn’t matter that I haven’t eaten a real vegetable in weeks. And I go out to eat with my friends many times a week just to be with like minded people and eat vegan waffles and gravy and cake. Why isn’t everyone vegan? The food is so amazing!
    Redwood Vegan Biscuits and Gravy
    Vegan biscuit, potatoes, sausage from Redwood Sunday brunch. 

  3. I’m vegan and I want omnivores to know that vegans aren’t freaks, and I’m normal, so everyone should know that I am vegan. I’ve got vegan pride. So I talk about how good vegan food is to anyone who will listen. And I tell my co-workers how good it feels to be vegan. And I make vegan food for my family, friends, and anyone who will eat my food and let sing vegan praises. I invite others out to dinner. I eat healthy so that I can be a good vegan role model. I rarely mention the animals at all. Just food. And I do everything else normal so vegans aren’t so scary.
  4. I’m vegan but all of the animal suffering around me still makes me incredibly sad. I want others to discover how easy it is to be vegan. Someone influenced me once, so maybe I can influence others? How can I be supportive and encouraging while also telling the hard truth about how animals suffer in factory farms, laboratories, fur farms, zoos, circuses, and beyond?  I’ll do some vegan outreach at the Fremont Fair. I want a vegan world! Veganism is political!
    Seattle Tilth Fair Sept 8, 2012 - Rachel and Anika
    NARN Board Members doing vegan outreach at the Tilth Festival this summer. 

  5. I’m vegan and I want to help animals right now. I don’t need to fit in anymore. Animals are suffering this very moment and I can’t turn away. I can’t forget them. I want to make a difference. When history is on our side, I want to say that I spoke out. That I made a fuss. That I didn’t let let suffering and tyranny run rampant on my watch. That I tried to do something with my time and talents.

Recognize any of this? Board member Pete is fond of the  slogan: “Silent = Consent.” We don’t consent to the horrors that are perpetrated in the name of human desires. We won’t be silent. Board member Anika’s favorite quote is “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” -  Elie Wiesel. She likes it because it admits that she sometimes feel powerless – but that even if that is the case, she should still speak out against injustice.

If you are feeling more and more inclined to speak out against the ways we torture and needlessly kill animals, NARN is here to support you. We can help you follow your passions, join with others, and make a difference in the lives of animals today. Just email us at info@narn.org.

 

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!

 

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

 

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