News of Note

December 27th, 2009

Landmark Investigation Announced: “The Blueprint”
After five months of research and investigation, I am announcing the release of a landmark document: The Blueprint – the largest update of fur farm addresses in nearly 15 years.

Foie gras given away
“French producers have given away 14 tonnes of foie gras to charity after hugely overestimating the demand for the delicacy this Christmas.  After a decade of growth, sales of foie gras stagnated last year but production levels rose, leading to a surplus, according to Les Marches, a French food trade magazine.

Animal welfare victories force farmers to use PR
The suffering cow covertly taped by the Humane Society of the U.S. prompted the biggest beef recall in U.S. history and contributed to sweeping legislation over the past 13 months designed to improve the lives of farm animals. But more important for farmers, it awakened the masses to the stark reality for many animals raised for food.

Bow hunters shoot elk in Wash. pasture
The herd would run from one end of the pasture to the other, led by the ranking elk cow. A few of the animals had arrows embedded in their hides and were bleeding but were still upright and running…The state wildlife agency declared an elk hunting season in an area roughly bounded by Highways 9 and 20, east to the intersection of 20 and Cape Horn Road.

Controversial roundup of wild horses underway
Mustangs are herded into corrals as Bureau of Land Management begins a two-month operation to capture 2,500 of Nevada’s wild horses. Equine activists say the action is unnecessary.  A controversial roundup of 2,500 wild horses from public and private lands in Nevada began on Monday amid protests from activists who call it needless and inhumane.

Racehorse’s plight shines light on illegal slaughter farms
Freedom’s Flight’s racing career ended before it had even started…That “worst” farm in America turned out to be an illegal slaughter farm in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Couto, working for the South Florida Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, participated in a raid on the farm and rescued Freedom’s Flight.

News of Note

Dec 22nd, 2009

Eco-prisoner Jeff “Free” Luers Released from Prison
“Jeff Free Luers, political prisoner and environmental activist, was released from the Columbia River Correctional Institution this morning after serving nine and a half years. Luers was originally sentenced in 2001 to twenty two years and eight months for the politically motivated arson of three SUVs at a car dealership in Eugene, OR.”

Dog sanctuary houses the worst of the worst
“The Olympic Animal Sanctuary caters to the worst of the worst: dogs that would be euthanized or turned away at any other shelter, dogs with records so bad no humane society would consider adopting them out…The sanctuary’s most famous inmate is Snaps, a mixed breed who made headlines south of Seattle in September when he attacked two women on the command of his owner, a 15-year-old girl.”

Catalan Parliament passes landmark vote to ban bullfighting
“Catalonia voted yesterday to ban bullfighting, a move that campaigners claim could mark the beginning of the end of Spain’s most controversial sport…Though the ban will put an end to bullfights, it will not prohibit street fiestas in which bulls are tormented, sometimes with balls of fire attached to their horns. “

Sorry, Vegans: Brussels Sprouts Like to Live, Too
“But before we cede the entire moral penthouse to “committed vegetarians” and “strong ethical vegans,” we might consider that plants no more aspire to being stir-fried in a wok than a hog aspires to being peppercorn-studded in my Christmas clay pot. This is not meant as a trite argument or a chuckled aside. Plants are lively and seek to keep it that way.”

PETA, Ringling Bros. at odds over the treatment of baby circus elephants
“Sammy Haddock started working with elephants when he joined the circus at 20, in 1976, a young man’s dream. He walked them, groomed them, cleaned up after them. More than once, he later confessed, he beat them.  Over time, his feelings about elephants grew more tender, especially toward the babies.”

Animals Get Legal Status
“Europe has legally recognized animals as sentient beings according to the Lisbon Treaty, which went into effect December 1.”

Action Alerts

Brookstone’s Frog-O-Sphere Supplier Exposed
Your Voice Is Urgently Needed
Brookstone, Wild Creations’ biggest customer, bears much responsibility for the systemic neglect and mistreatment of frogs uncovered by PETA’s investigation. Brookstone has refused to meet with PETA and has ignored the concerns of thousands of compassionate consumers. Please call on Brookstone to stop contributing to the suffering of tens of thousands of animals by ending the sale of Frog-O-Spheres immediately and pledging never to sell any live animals again.
http://tinyurl.com/yd5aon6 (peta action alert)

News of Note

New Mexico Dairy Pollution Sparks ‘Manure War’
http://tinyurl.com/ye95v3j (npr)
“The picture on many milk cartons shows cows grazing on a pasture next to a country barn and a silo — but the reality is very different.  More and more milk comes from confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), where large herds live in feedlots, awaiting their thrice-daily trip to the milking barn. A factory farm with 2,000 cows produces as much sewage as a small city, yet there’s no treatment plant.”

77 percent of European pigs are castrated without anesthetic
http://tinyurl.com/ybggwzk (eurekalert)
“The castration of pigs prevents the “boar taint” smell in the meat and allows them to contain more fat. However in practice this can be very different. Now, for the first time, a scientific team has collected information on the conditions of castration on European pigs. The main conclusion of the study, that forms part of the PIGCAS project, is that these animals are castrated directly by the livestock farmers, without anaesthetic and in some cases, without respecting the European legislation.”

Mice holding back muscular dystrophy research
http://tinyurl.com/ycwt5s7 (press release)
“Humans and mice have previously unknown and potentially critical differences in one of the genes responsible for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Biology have found that two major features of a key DMD gene are present in most mammals, including humans, but are specifically absent in mice and rats, calling into question the use of the mouse as the principal model animal for studying DMD.”

In Birthplace of Local Food, Fish Imports Take Over the Menu
http://tinyurl.com/y8kwl88 (nyt)
“San Francisco’s situation is part of a national phenomenon. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported last year that more than three-fourths of the fish Americans eat comes from other countries, mostly China. Yet the trend has special resonance around San Francisco. Robert E. Ross, executive director of the California Fisheries and Seafood Institute, a trade group, estimated that Bay Area residents eat, on average, about double the amount of fish consumed annually by most other Americans.”

Greyhounds chasing rabbit for last time in Mass
http://tinyurl.com/yctfmap (ap)
“Greyhound racing has been a form of entertainment in Massachusetts for 75 years, but not for much longer. The last card at Raynham Park is expected to be Dec. 26, and the state’s other dog track, Wonderland in Revere, stopped racing earlier in the fall.  It may, in fact, be the last time greyhounds run anywhere in New England.”

Action Alerts, News of Note & Community Events, now on the NARN Blog

The NARN Blog will now be the place to go to see Action Alerts, News of Note about Animal Issues, as well as Community Events that are either directly related to Animal Rights issues, or events that we thought might be of interest to NARN’s membership.

Keep checking the NARN Blog, or even subscribe, as it will now be updated a few times a week with News Stories and Action Alerts.  This will allow us to post items of interest in a more timely manner rather than waiting for the Weekly Email to roll out.

Out first Action Alert is from the good folks at Save Washington Pets:

Support Spay Neuter Assistance Legislation
Spay/Neuter Assistance Bill (SB 5329/HB 1406) has been proposed by Save Washington Pets, and will fund approximately 70,000 spay/neuter surgeries per year.
The bill has been sitting in the senate and house agriculture committees since hearings were held last session. These committees need to act on this bill by voting it out of committee in the 2010 session. Only then does the bill survive and have a chance to proceed toward a vote by the whole house and senate.
Take Action
Please contact your state legislator, and let them know you support the Spay/Neuter Assistance Bill (SB 5329/HB 1406).
Need to find out who your state legislators are? Here’s how to find them:
http://apps.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/Default.aspx

For talking points and more information, check out:
http://savewashingtonpets.org

NARN Halloween Party 2009

NARN’s first Halloween Party was a smashing success! The studio was creeped out, the attendees were costumed, and the building was set up for Día de los Muertos (“Day of the Dead”). Bethany provided us with awesome food to snack on, Pete with awesome music, and Katrina with an awesome (and free!) space. Thanks to them, and to everyone who came! Hopefully it was worth the drive to Beacon Hill.

We’d like to apologize for not holding a costume contest, since we know some people were looking forward to it – time flies when you’re having fun, and in this case it flew right past us since we hadn’t picked a time to hold the contest.

However, a couple of the best costumes are pictured below! Be sure and check out Jeff’s outstanding Edward Scissorhands – in terms of effort and craftsmanship, we can safely say he was the winner, but there were some other great costumes (like Mark’s costume inspired by V for Vendetta – also pictured below).

The witch’s pantry game winner was the board’s own Jenn, closely followed in second by Amith. Congratulations to both on a superior sense of smell!

We hope everyone had fun, and will consider coming out the next time we have a party – it’s sure to get even better!

Bryan
NARN Board


Dancin’, or just hangin’ out:

Skin Deep Studio Halloweenified!

NARN Board President “V”. Animal oppressors beware!

V: NARN Board President

This is the country and western table – we’re not sure how the NRA got in:

Skin Deep Studio Halloweenified!

And over here, the undead and a nice young man with scissors for hands:

Skin Deep Studio Halloweenified!

In this corner, it looks like it’s still the 1940’s (minus all the CD’s):

Skin Deep Studio Halloweenified!

It really wasn’t just the younger folks dancing, I swear!

Skin Deep Studio Halloweenified!

9/19 Demo to Oppose Primate Research at the UW

Despite the rainy weather, the Demo to Oppose Primate Research at the UW went forward as planned on Saturday. Armed with 5 signs and 2 banners, I got to the corner of NE Pacific and Montlake just before 11am. I knew that the rain might keep some protesters away, so I found a spot just off of the sidewalk that gave me a good view of people walking by, and made me visible to passersby. While I waited for the other activists to arrive, I held a sign that read “Cruelty is Criminal” above a picture of a monkey looking through cage bars. Plenty of people walking by looked at my sign, and I couldn’t help but think they must have thought it was strange that I was the only one standing there with a sign.

After 15 minutes or so passed, no other activists showed up to join me, and I thought about leaving, but a middle aged man came up to me and said “I support what you are standing up for”. This comment pleasantly surprised me, and the rain had tapered off, so I decided to stick it out. Before too long, another man – a guy some might refer to as looking like a stereotypical football fan – approached me and said that he was glad that I was out there. I had been out there by myself for 30 minutes and the only reactions I had gotten so far were positive ones.

By the time 12:20 rolled around, I had distributed numerous leaflets, had a woman tell me that she worked near the UW’s Primate Research facility on Western, and my sign had been seen by hundreds of people. I truly felt that my time had been well spent, and despite the low turnout for the demo, it had been effective. One person can in fact make a difference.

I’ll be out there for the next UW Husky Football home game, to greet attendees with my sign and information about the horrible research that goes on behind closed doors at the UW. I hope this time others will be able to join me.

Work Party to Precious Life Animal Sanctuary

On Saturday August 29, a group of about 15 people who love animals took a trip to the Precious Life Animal Sanctuary in Sequim, Washington.  The Sanctuary, which is run by two dedicated animal lovers, Ralph and Caryl Turner, is the happy forever home to many animals.  The group of volunteers included families with children, a few dogs who enjoyed a day on the farm, and many hard-working folks who enjoyed the fresh air and outdoor activity.

We made sure the barn for the sanctuary’s only pig was clean and prepared with fresh hay. The kids and adults played with the newly rescued “baby” cow, who is already bigger than he thinks he is and when he rubs the top of his head on the legs of the volunteers, some of us had trouble staying on our feet!  But he was playful and gentle and clearly loved the attention.  We fed carrots and apples to the group of horses and shaggy burros, many of whom first required the humans to earn their trust.  Once we did, the beautiful animals rewarded the humans with affection and they allowed us to rub the soft parts of their noses!

The treat of the day was reconnecting with the 90 rabbits who were rescued from Greenlake and Woodland Park by Carrie and Mark.  The rabbits have a fortress of security to protect them from other animals, and they safely and happily ran and played in the thistle and grass while the workers tidied up their space and left carrots for their later enjoyment.

Thanks to all the volunteers and to the hospitality of Ralph and Caryl who provided an abundant lunch to all the volunteers!

Precious Life is often looking for volunteers to come up for a day and NARN will likely host another volunteer work party soon.  More information on the sanctuary may be found here:

www.preciouslifeanimalsanctuary.org



















Seattle Hempfest 2009

On August 21 and 22 marked the return of Seattle Hempfest, the largest cannabis policy reform event in the world. Now in its 18th year, the “protestival” attracts tens of thousands of people each day to listen to Hempfest’s reform messages amidst a festival atmosphere marked by music on multiple stages and numerous vendors. The picture-perfect day in a park setting overlooking the  blue waters of Elliot Bay and backed by the sun-glistened downtown Seattle skyline meant this year’s Hempfest was one of the busiest in recent memory.

NARN was right in the thick of it, spreading the message of extending compassion and self-determination to non-human animals, with a booth well-staffed by many talented and determined volunteer activists like Franziska, Isa, Ted, Rabbit, Chuck, Meredith, Nick, Dominique, Claudine, Shelly, Pete, Margaret, Michael & Wil. In the course of two days, we were able to distribute a personal record amount of vegan literature, restaurant guides and starter kits (over 2500!) to provide Hempfest attendees with the tools they need to transition to an animal-product-free lifestyle.

Thanks to our volunteers for the hard work they did in making this event a huge success!

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