Help Iditarod dogs

From the Sled Dog Action Coalition:

sled dogs

The Iditarod is a cruel event and mushers often beat dogs who won’t run, or who don’t run fast enough. Dogs are injured during their brutal training and end up with cracked ribs, broken jaws or skulls from mushers.

Thankfully Target and Fred Meyer ended their support for the Iditarod after they received protest emails. But the dogs still need your help.

Please send protest emails to race sponsors: Konica Minolta, Golden Corral,  Allworx (Windstream) and Waste Management.

Email Addresses:

Sample letter:

Dear Iditarod Sponsor:

For the dogs, the Iditarod dog sled race is a bottomless pit of suffering. Please end your organization’s support of this event. What happens to the dogs during the Iditarod includes death, paralysis, frostbite, bleeding ulcers, bloody diarrhea, lung damage, pneumonia, ruptured discs, viral diseases, broken bones, torn muscles and tendons and sprains. Over 143 dogs have died in the race, including three who frozen to death in the brutal cold. For more facts, visit the Sled Dog Action Coalition website, http://helpsleddogs.org.

Iditarod mushers beat dogs who won’t run, or who don’t run fast enough. Dogs are beaten with shovels, bats, chains, two-by-fours or whatever else is handy. Dr, Jeanne Olson, who has been a veterinarian in Alaska since 1988, confirmed the brutality used by mushers training dogs for the Iditarod. She saw dogs with cracked ribs, broken jaws or skulls from mushers using two-by-fours for punishment. In an article published by the University of Alaska, Dr. Olson said, “There are mushers out there whose philosophy is…that if that dog acts up I will hit that dog to the point where it would rather die than do what it did, ’cause the next time it is gonna die.’”

Jim Welch says in his book Speed Mushing Manual, “Nagging a dog team is cruel and ineffective…A training device such as a whip is not cruel at all but is effective.” He also said, “It is a common training device in use among dog mushers…” Jon Saraceno wrote in his column in USA Today, “He [Colonel Tom Classen] confirmed dog beatings and far worse. Like starving dogs to maintain their most advantageous racing weight. Skinning them to make mittens. Or dragging them to their death.”

Iditarod dog kennels are puppy mills. Mushers breed many dogs and routinely kill unwanted ones, including puppies. Mushers have drowned, shot, bludgeoned and dragged many dogs to death. For example, Iditarod musher Dave Olesen drowned a litter of newborn puppies. Another musher got rid of unwanted puppies by tying them in a bag and tossing the bag in a creek. Mushers even have a saying about not breeding dogs unless they can drown them: “Those who cannot drown should not breed.”

Veterinary care during the Iditarod is poor. In the 2012 race, one of Lance Mackey’s male dogs ripped out all of his 16 toenails trying to get to a female who was in heat. This type of broken toenail is extremely painful. Mackey, a four-time Iditarod winner, said he was too stubborn to leave this dog at a checkpoint and veterinarians allowed Mackey to continue to race him. Imagine the agony the dog was forced to endure.

Here’s another example: Veterinarians have allowed dogs with kennel cough to race in the Iditarod even though dogs with this disease should be kept warm and given lots of rest. Strenuous exercise can cause lung damage, pneumonia and even death. To make matters worse, kennel cough is a highly contagious disease that normally lasts from 10 to 21 days.

Please end your organization’s association with this horrific race.

Sincerely,

[your name]

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Help bring Lolita home

Lolita is a orca from the Puget Sound off the coast of Washington State, who was captured and stolen from her family four decades ago. You might remember her story from the documentary Blackfish and Lolita: Slave to Entertainment.

Lolita c/o ALDFShe’s been languishing in a tiny tank at the Miami Seaquariam. The Endangered Species Act protects members of the Southern Resident orca population, but Lolita has been excluded from being protected–until now.

Thanks to pressure from PETA and the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) made a decision that could free Lolita. The NMFS agreed that Lolita deserves the same protection as her wild family.

Even if Lolita cannot be truly wild and free, she deserves to live in peace without being forced to perform tricks for food. She hasn’t seen another orca in 30 years–a cruel  situation for a social animal. A sea pen in the Puget Sound would give her space, natural sounds and sights, and the change to reconnect with her family.

Plus, Lolita’s mother is still alive! Reuniting the two would give Lolita a good chance at freedom.

Help now!

Please share your support for Lolita here. Let the government know you support their decision to include Lolita in her family’s ESA listing. Please tell them that her current conditions are causing her to suffer, and that you want her moved to a seaside sanctuary in her home waters under expert care.

Comments will be accepted until March 28th, but why wait? Add a brief note now–and help bring Lolita home!

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Taiji Again

After four days of bloody selection, separation and slaughter, with clips of what is going on in Taji being picked up by major news networks, with a charismatic albino baby illogically but fortuitously arousing everyone’s sympathy (I say this because hundreds of other babies suffer the same fate each year and no one has cared), with even the US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy condemning the massacre…we need to keep it up. Who knows, this may be the time we will look back on and say, that’s when it crumbled. Please write to the head of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), and the Japanese PM (if you haven’t already, and if you have, too) and express your outrage:

Japanese PM email :https://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/forms/comment_ssl.html

World Association of Zoos and Aquariums CEO email (who could end this NOW by enforcing WAZA’s own — ignored — Code of Ethics):gerald.dick@waza.org
And then, you know what? You could do it again. And get your daughter/mother/brother/husband/son/friend/neighbor to.
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Speak up for the Woodland Park Zoo elephants

FOWPZE

Woodland Park Zoo has their hand out again for money from tax payers – in fact they’re listed first on the list to get money in the Parks Legacy Plan. The City needs to know that there are many of us who don’t want more funding to go to the zoo.

Here’s why:

  • The zoo already gets $6.6 million dollars annually–and the amount goes up every year. Last year Seattle taxpayers paid  the zoo an additional $2 million for parking!
  • We do not consider this business a park.
  • No other park has admission.
  • No other park has a Board of Directors dedicated to fund raising.
  • The zoo could save $787,000.00 by closing the archaic and inadequate elephant exhibit by retiring the elephants to a sanctuary. They could also save the cost of fighting media and citizen criticism of the elephant program that has mounted to at least $480,000.00 over the past 7 years.
  • No other park has such public controversy associated with it’s operations. The zoo’s elephant program has been criticized by The Seattle Times, The Ron and Don Show (the #1 rated talk radio show), The Seattle PI, Crosscut, blogs, internationally renowned elephant experts and Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants.

Please go one of these meetings and give public comment or simply say why you’re there on the sign-in sheet. We’d like to your thoughts if you attend. Here are the dates and times of the meetings:

Thursday, January 23 at 6 p.m. – International District/Chinatown Community Center 719 8th Ave. S
Saturday, January 25 at 1 p.m. – High Point Community Center 6920 34th Ave. SW (Free childcare will be provided)
Thursday, January 30 at 7 p.m. – Bitter Lake Community Center 13035 Linden Ave. N

More info on the Parks Legacy Plan is here.

Also, please write a short and courteous email to the following people asking Woodland Park Zoo to be removed from the Parks Legacy Plan. It can be as simple as: ”Please remove Woodland Park Zoo from the Parks Legacy Plan. The Zoo receives enough tax dollars.”

parkslegacy@seattle.gov, Sally.Bagshaw@seattle.gov, Tim.Burgess@seattle.gov, Sally.Clark@seattle.gov, Jean.Godden@seattle.gov, Bruce.Harrell@seattle.gov, Nick.Licata@seattle.gov, Tom.Rasmussen@seattle.gov, Mike.OBrien@seattle.govKshama.Sawant@seattle.gov, Ed.murray@seattle.gov

Thanks for your help. We couldn’t help the elephants without you!

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Support SB 6080 and get fishing line collected and recycled

Carelessly discarded monofilament fishing line is a serious threat to humans and wildlife. When birds and other animals get tangled in it, they risk strangulation, starvation, amputation, and death. Because it’s transparent, monofilament fishing line is also a serious risk to people who swim and dive near it.tangled fishing line

SB 6080 would require a pilot program to be implemented for the collection, recovery, and recycling of monofilament fishing line at established fishing areas, boat ramps, and other locations.

Please support SB 6080 by testifying at the hearing in favor of the bill, submitting written testimony to the committee, or both.

The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at 1:30 p.m. before the Senate Energy, Environment, and Telecommunications Committee. The hearing will be in Senate Hearing Room 4, J.A. Cherberg Building on the state capitol campus in Olympia. (Here are directions and a map of the capitol campus).

How to help:

  • Attend the hearing and bring others who support this bill with you. Sign in, indicating you support the bill (pro). You don’t have to testify, but you can!
  • If you testify, please be brief. There are hearings on other bills during that committee meeting and your testimony may be limited to one or two minutes.
  • Written testimony is welcome. Provide your written testimony the committee staff when you enter the hearing room. Please bring 14 copies of your testimony so there are plenty of copies for committee members and staff.
  • If you can’t be at the hearing and you’d like to send a brief comment by email, just reference the bill name (concerning a fishing line or monofilament recycling pilot program), the bill number (SB 6080) and your name, address, and affiliation (if any). Send your comments to Adam Day at adam.day@leg.wa.gov. Mr. Day is the legislative assistant for Senator Mark Mullet, the prime sponsor of SB 6080, and he’ll give your comments to members of the Senate Energy, Environment, and Telecommunications Committee. If you’d rather contact each of the committee members directly, you can find their names listed here. You’ll find their email addresses here. Note: Your comments should be submitted by January 21, 2014.

Committee hearings are subject to change. Before attending this hearing, please confirm that its time, date, and location have not been changed. The committee’s hearing schedule is here.

Thanks to Save Washington Pets (Washington Alliance for Humane Legislation) for the info about this bill.

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Come to Animal Activism 101

Last year’s Animal Activism 101 workshop was such a hit, we’re doing it again!

If you’re new to activism, this is a great chance to learn about how to pick the right activities for your skills, strengths, and interests and how to actually get started.

If you’ve done some activism, but are new to the scene, we’ll share some tips, tricks, and best practices not only from NARN, but from other activists around the world.

We’ll talk about tabling, leafleting, demonstrations, writing, online activism, corporate campaigning, and using your unique talents and interests in making the world a better place for animals.

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

We want to build a strong community of NW vegans and animal activists. Let’s 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!AR101

Sunday, February 9th, 2014
12:30 – 3:30 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 many snacks to bring. If you want to bring something to share, please let us know.

This is a FREE event.

To spend one’s life being angry, and in the process doing nothing to change it, is to me ridiculous. I could be mad all day long, but if I’m not doing a damn thing, what difference does it make?” ― Charles Fuller

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Protest The Cove to the Japanese PM NOW

As some of you may know, at this very moment, five pods of bottlenose dolphins — 250 individuals — have been driven into The Cove in Taiji and await their fate. They don’t know life as they knew it is over, for all of them. The many juveniles and babies among them include a rare white albino calf who has been clinging to his mother as closely as possible in the panic of the drive hunt. These are his last hours with her. Rare albino dolphin calf

Sea Shepherd provides a live stream from The Cove at http://livestream.seashepherd.org

During the selection process, families are all torn apart as some are taken to spend their lives in miserable captivity, some are hacked to death before the eyes of the others, and some (as in the case of a baby recently) are just driven away to die alone at sea.

I wish I could tell you how to go there and where to climb down to the water and cut nets to pieces. There are lots of things I wish I could tell you. But all I MAY tell you is that you can send your thoughts right to the Japanese Prime Minister Abe with this link:

PLEASE do it.
NOTHING changes without NOISE.
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OMG, WE DID IT!! Donkey Basketball CANCELLED!!

Are you hopeless sometimes because things feel written in stone and immutable? Look: between all of us, and with Pasado’s, and PETA….these donkeys will NOT be kicked and yanked and hit and shouted at this Saturday. The event has been cancelled, and will not be repeated.

You know who accomplished this? You did. 

I am filled with gratitude. THANK YOU, everyone!

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Speak up for animals in labs

Have you read the Herald’s article, Inside the Monkey Lab? It’s about SNLB, an animal research facility in Everett, WA, and it’s terribly one-sided.

Please write to Peter Jackson (pjackson@heraldnet.com), the editorial page editor, and tell him the article was not fair or balanced. You can also add your comments at the bottom of the article, but a letter to the editor will have more impact. For talking points on why we don’t need animal testing, here’s some info:

Animal testing is bad science, based on outdated ideas, and it’s a money-making racket. Researchers applying for grants, can secure more money when they use animals in their experiments. And Mark Crane, the SNLB VP interviewed in the article said his company breeds and sells research monkeys to other labs for about $3,500 each. It’s big business. Careers depend on it.

If animals are so different from us (different enough for us to justify experimenting on), it also means they’re too different to gather relevant, conclusive evidence drawing of a monkey being operated onthat would apply to us. If they’re similar enough that the experiments would actually be useful and relevant, then they’re just like us and it’s unethical to test on them. Either way, it’s wrong.

The cost of experimenting on animals is high and the benefits are minimal. Non-animal testing is usually cheaper and more accurate than animal tests, which can be unreliable. Animal tests are misleading because they’re not good at showing how humans will respond.

With animal testing, illness is induced, and then a cure is sought. That’s an unrealistic and unnatural environment and doesn’t translate well to humans. According to the AAVS, nine out of ten drugs that appear promising in animal studies go on to fail in human clinical trials.

For example, the polio vaccine was delayed by decades because of animal testing. Monkeys respond differently to the virus. Penicillin almost didn’t see the light of day because it was ineffective on rabbits (and killed guinea pigs). It wasn’t until Alexander Fleming gave it to a dying patient (as a last-ditch effort) and she recovered that it was proven acceptable for human use.

Thalidomide, a drug used in the 1950s to treat morning sickness, was proven harmless in dogs, cats, rabbits, monkeys, and rats, and was cleared for human use. It wasn’t until over 10,000 children were born with severe birth defects that it was pulled from the market. Animal tests didn’t warn us.

More recently, Vioxx, a painkiller for people with arthritis, was taken off the market after it caused up to 320,000 heart attacks and strokes. The drug was tested on animals but those tests never revealed the danger to people.

We have the technology to use alternatives to animal tests–and there are many! We have mathematic and in silico (computer models), genomic tests, in vitro (test tube) on human cell cultures, and medical imaging.

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JOIN US PROTESTING THE DONKEY BASKETBALL GAME!

Unfortunately we were unable to prevent the Anacortes Middle School from going ahead with their inhumane donkey basketball event this coming Saturday, January 18th. (See my post from November 18th). Recently interviewed, the owner of the “Donkey Sports” company said, “Animal rights groups are a small, misinformed segment of society and should not be allowed to deprive the rest of the community from [sic] this fun event.” 

Let’s ALL go and make sure no one going in remains unaware that this is animal cruelty, and that compassionate people are a SIGNIFICANT — AND GROWING — VOCAL SEGMENT of the population! The event begins at 6pm; protesters should be there at 4:30. Bring signs!

Whatever else you were going to do with Saturday, do this instead. Unless you are sabotaging fishing boats off a Certain Cove in Taiji, or something similar.

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