Double Standard

As many of you probably heard, Dr. George Tiller, a doctor that performed late-term abortions was murdered at his church this past Sunday.

Any death is tragic, and this one also serves as a reminder of the “special” legal hurdles faced by animal rights activists. The man that shot and killed the doctor was not called a terrorist by the government or by the media, even though the action he carried out was based on his religious and philosophical views. The man is an extremist. He is part of a group that fights in behalf of the voiceless and the anti-abortionist movement as a whole professes to value all human life.

Animal rights activists are often compared to  anti-abortion activists , and we do have many similarities to the Anti-Abortionist movement. We both proclaim to value life, we both conduct protests and we have been known to label members of the opposition “murderers”.   It is worth noting however, that 4 people have been killed by anti-abortion activists, while zero people have been killed by animal rights activists.

The government however, treats us differently. If an animal rights activists commits an action in the name of Animal Liberation, we are automatically labelled terrorists. Anti-abortionists are not. They are only prosecuted based on their crime, not on their ethical, religious or philosophical views. The man that murdered Dr. Tiller will be charged with murder, not terrorism.  He will not be tried in Federal Court, and it is unlikely that he will receive a special sentence.

This double-standard treatment is unfair, but this should be nothing new to us.  Animal rights activists are fighting against unequal standards every day. Dogs are given more protection that pigs, cows more protection that chickens. Any cute animal has more advocates that the less visually appealing. We should not let the injustice that we face at the hands of the legal system deter us.

We must keep fighting on behalf of the voiceless, for the obstacles that we face, are nothing compared to the injustices faced by the animals.

Foie Gras Campaign Update: Quinn's Pub Desperate to Sell Foie Gras

The scene at Quinn’s Pub on Friday nights is vaguely reminiscent of a forlorn going-out-of-business sale. At 1001 E Pike St, foie gras appears to be on clearance. Not only does Quinn’s owner Scott Staples offer to donate 10% of foie gras sales on Fridays to charities to boost sales (the first four weeks’ worth of contributions were rejected), but now he is even attempting, rather unsuccessfully, to give it away. As free samples sit untouched outside the Pub’s door, Scott Staples’ desperation to sell the engorged livers of force-fed ducks is almost pitiable. Meanwhile, thriving protests continue at Lark, where NARN supporters educated diners about the cruel methods of foie gras production three times last week.

NARN Rejects Quinn's money: blood money

During last Friday’s weekly foie gras protest of Quinn’s in Capitol Hill, NARN returned a donation check from the owner of the pub, Scott Staples.

Quinn’s has displayed a banner advertising that 10% of foie gras sales will be donated to NARN (see picture below).

The NARN board of directors unanimously rejects any such donations. It would show neither consistency nor integrity for an animal rights organization to benefit from animal cruelty – especially by profiting from foie gras, a product we’re actively campaigning against.

After the check was returned to him, Mr. Staples replied that he would “never take [foie gras] off the menu”, but that he was “proud of [NARN]” for rejecting the donation. I’m sure he’s happy we won’t accept money for what he considers our “support”.

We will not be swayed. The demonstrations will continue, and perhaps one day this so-called “delicacy” will be a thing of the past in Seattle eateries.

NARN President Mark shares information on foie gras production with a patron of Quinn's

Remember, if you want to help us stop restaurants from serving this inhumane dish, we need you to contact them and politely request that they remove it from the menu. While the protests keep pressure and attention on them, they will ultimately only listen to public pressure. So drop by, call, or send e-mail to Quinn’s and Lark and ask them to remove foie gras from their menu, and make a difference for the ducks.

Rally Against Cruelty to Ducks—EVERY FRIDAY, 7 & 8PM

We have added an additional restaurant to our protest schedule. We have requested several times to meet with the owners of Quinn’s Pub, and they have not returned our correspondence, so we will begin protesting their sale of foie gras as well. We will meet, as usual, at Lark, 926 12th Ave E on Capitol Hill at 7pm, and then migrate over to Quinn’s Pub, located at 1001 E Pike St at 8pm. We hope to see you there!

Foie Gras Campaign Update:
At Friday night’s protest, NARN’s president had a long conversation with one of the owners of Lark, which continues, despite receiving educational materials about the cruelty inherent in foie gras production, to serve the dish. She mentioned that she is tracking correspondence she receives about foie gras, and that Lark currently receives more pro- than anti-foie gras phone calls and emails. We know that this does not reflect public opinion generally, as a recent Zogby poll found that nearly 80 percent of likely voters in the U.S. believe that foie gras production should be outlawed.

Since Lark is taking the public’s reaction into account in continuing to serve foie gras, please contact Lark and let them know that you would like to see them remove it from their menu. Taking two minutes to do this will really make a difference for the ducks and geese who are force fed to create this cruel product.
Tel: (206) 323-5275
Email: info@LarkSeattle.com

If you can’t make the protest, please call or email Quinn’s and ask them to remove foie gras from their menu.
Tel: (206) 325-7711
Email: info@quinnspubseattle.com

In other foie gras news, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution last week supporting restaurants that removed foie gras from its menu. For more information about foie gras factory farming, please visit: gourmetcruelty.com and nofoiegras.com. Email volunteer@narn.org with any questions.

Protesting the Pro Bull Riders in Tacoma 3/21/09

Not only were bulls never ridden in ranch work, but watching an animal be tormented is not entertainment, it’s abuse. We gathered at the Tacoma Dome to protest this inhumane and completely unnecessary form of animal cruelty.

A few folks made rude remarks, but we kept a Gandhian posture of non-violence and did not respond. One guy saw our signs and stopped to talk to us. After a while he said, “Well, you’ve opened up my mind a bit. I’m still going in to watch the show, but I’m gonna think about this when I’m in there. Thanks for being out here.”

Vegfest 3/21/09

The NARN table at Vegfest supplied many people with information about factory farming, the myth of “free range” eggs, and how milk actually doesn’t do a body good. People’s responses ranged from shy-but-curious, to those passionately making a beeline over to our table to sign up to get involved in helping animals.

There were lots of folks asking how they could make the transition from vegetarian to vegan, to which our friendly volunteers shared their own tips and personal stories. This, along with all the free food samples, made Vegfest another fun event this year!

Vegan Prom for the AETA 4, 3/14/09

Local animal rights supporters came out in their best prom wear to eat delicious vegan tacos and succulent desserts, be stirred by activist talks, and hit the dance floor to 80’s music spun by DJ Coldheart.

Board member David summarized our current campaigns in which, in the words of one supporter, “NARN has really been kicking ass lately.” Attorney Jenn Kaplan explained the significance of the recent arrests of four activists who are being charged under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. Darius Fullmer of the SHAC7 gave a rousing speech about the importance of not succumbing to fear in our fight against animal oppression, as well as his own experience being charged under the AETA. “How ever you think is the best way to achieve animal liberation, keep doing it, and do it more,” he said.

And NARN t-shirts made their public debut at the Prom. Black shirt, white printing, $20. Contact info@narn.org to get one!

Rodeo Protest in Everett 3/7/09

We stood in the snowy wind outside the rodeo in Everett, silently holding our signs urging people, “Don’t Support Animal Cruelty,” “Real Men Are Kind To Animals” and “Heroes Protect The Innocent.” We couldn’t honestly say that it was the most attractive side of Northwest society that bunched slowly forward for tickets while looking at us contemptuously, mocking us as hippies and vegetarians, or just proclaiming, “I’m kind to animals—-I eat each and every one I can! I hunt deer. And cougars!”

Perhaps our peaceful presence was so threatening, and their sense of pride so fragile, that they felt compelled to defend themselves against our silent compassion. However, we remained steadfast while joking with each other, talking about the upcoming Vegan Prom, and generally trying not to freeze our little fingers off in the freezing cold.

Rodeos exploit and abuse animals for profit under the guise of “entertainment.” Take a look: rodeocruelty.com

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