Opposing Cruelty: Fur Shop Protests

At Fieck Furs the night of Wed 11/12/08.Fieck Furs at 1607 California St in Everett, WA makes a business of selling the skins of tortured animals. Every time we show up with our signs, Terry Fieck CLOSES HIS STORE FOR THE ENTIRE DAY. Take a look at Mr Fieck’s rather peculiar vision of “fashion.” Be sure to let Terry Fieck know how you feel about fur by giving him a call at (425) 252-8845 or writing him an email: terry.fieck@verizon.net

In front of Fieck Furs on Nov 1, 2008

It is hard to fathom that anyone is still wearing fur. It is so plain to see that killing animals for their fur is completely barbaric. The only purpose is vanity.”
—Joaquin Phoenix

Opposing Cruelty: UW Infant Primate Lab Protests

Bryan and a new monkey friend.

Our protests on 10/18, 11/8 & 11/15/08 seemed more like parties, with such great folks who came out to show people what the University of Washington is doing to baby monkeys in the name of curiosity.

Kelli invites others to show compassion.We realized that with the Husky football homegames there’d be tons of people walking and driving right by UW’s Infant Primate Research Facility at the Magnuson Health Sciences Center.

Shivani & JessicaWith some of us coming all the way from Canada, Olympia, Lake Stevens, Renton and across the Montlake bridge, we gathered at the corner of NE Pacific St & Montlake Blvd. Holding signs depicting UW’s abuse of primates, we were the voices for sentient beings imprisoned in experimenters’ cages. As Jessica put it, “Our protest rocked!”

Afterward we all went out for delicious vegan food at Hillside Quickies, talking while we ate and laughing Shivani rocks the intersection!about Saturday Night Live, ’67 Mustangs, being a vegetarian in the Army in Iraq, and various nonsense and serious subjects alike. Who knew protesting animal cruelty could be this much fun? As one of us said of the day,It was awesome meeting all of you guys and I had a blast for my first animal rights protest!”

UW is the most federally-funded animal research facility in the country, receiving over $270 million last year from NIH. The university holds captive over 16,000 animals, including 3,000 primates.

At the Primate Center, UW researchers cut holes into macaque monkeys’ skulls. Recording cylinders are attached so that electrodes may be fed directly into the brain. The monkeys are then confined to restraint chairs and forced to perform behavioral experiments. Juice or water is often used as a reward in these experiments. To make the experiments more effective the primates are deprived of fluids except when they are performing the experiments.

Bryan & Annie

These experiments have been going on for decades with no conclusive results. In addition, these projects are very similar to one another, potentially duplicating experimental procedures.

Community Presentation: "Know Your Rights: Freedom of Speech"

An absolutely excellent presentation by a local lawyer who explained First Amendment free speech rights as they relate to animal rights activists.  This was Part 1 of our series discussing everything activists need to know in this day and age. Stay tuned for Part 2 in January about Fourth Amendment (search and seizure), Fifth Amendment (self-incrimination) and Sixth Amendment (right to counsel) rights. Stay safe, be smart, and know your rights!

Opposing Cruelty: Banner Drop

We came out in the lousy weather to hold up a large banner on the Aurora overpass during morning rush hour, in order to remind people of what happens to turkeys this time of year. We held the banner in the rain and waved at drivers. This sounds like a crumby experience, but it was actually fun, On the Aurora overpass.hanging out with other cool vegan activists. Many drivers were invited to consider the torture that so many beautiful birds are put through, simply because of a tradition.

Community Presentation: "Global Warming + Animal Agriculture"

We met at Teapot Vegetarian House for this month’s Seattle Animal Rights Meetup’s discussion about how our diet is the most significant contribution to the destruction of the planet. In 2006 the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported that the ranching and slaughter of cows and other animals generates an estimated 18% of total human-induced greenhouse-gas emissions globally.

We also talked about such topics as the effectiveness of PETA’s tactics; what to do when you feel passionate about animal suffering but others around you are unconcerned; how to answer the common question, “You’re vegan? So what do you do for protein?”; being required to cook meat at work when you’re a vegan; and the best vegan restaurants around town.

It’s good to talk with other folks who really understand where you’re coming from. Please join us at the next Seattle Animal Rights Meetup!

Animal Sanctuary Support: Precious Life

Wet bunnies.Our trip to Precious Life Animal Sanctuary started off rainy, with lots of wet bunnies scampering into their underground burrows. But the rain let up and the fog filled in the mountains surrounding the valley.

Some people hold this myth of vegans as weak, unhealthy, self-denying ascetics. But the vegans I know are some of the toughest, most hard-working, hedonistic food-loving people I’ve ever met.Andy & Tove love power tools!

Contractor Andy put us to work in the barn building a new shed for the animals. Theo and other students from UPS filled the barn with sounds of hammering, while Mike, Andy and Tove power-sawed 2×4′s.

(As Tove said delightedly, “I just love power tools!”)Wil takes CONTROL of the thistles.

 Mark, Carrie, Wil, Rachel, and Mark’s mom dug up thistles in the relocated Woodland Park rabbits’ enclosure, while Ralph, Bob, Kim, Elisabeth, and David wielded pick axes digging trenches for fences to protect trees from the forthcoming pigs’ irresistible skin-scratching.Ralph & Bob wield picks.

 

Later we all found ourselves sitting around Ralph and Carol’s living room gorging ourselves on a delicious arrangement of vegan food like pasta, baked beans, fruit salad, hummus, guacamole, and homemade pie with apples from their own trees. David gets a friendly lick.

 

And of course we got to spend quality time with all the animals, feeding carrots to bunnies, giving cows the size of cars scratches behind their ears, and admiring the horses and burros.   

 

UPS students & David find new friends.Djinn & Heather make new friends.

 

I would never have imagined when I got involved in NARN how much manual labor, animal petting, and delicious food stuffing I’d be doing. But sometimes in life, things turn out better than you ever hoped. 

 

Community Presentation: "Animal Rescues: Woodland Park Rabbits"

Remember all the cute bunnies you used to see hopping around Greenlake? They were abandoned there by owners who got them as cute live presents for Easter and then gave up on them. And they were being shot at by people, attacked by dogs, and carried off by hawks. One day Seattleites Mark and his girlfriend Carrie rescued one, then decided they had to save the rest. So they carried out a plan to relocate over 100 rabbits, the tame ones going to animal shelters for adoption and the really wild ones to Precious Life Animal Sanctuary.

The Animal Rights Meetup  gathered at Bamboo Garden, where guest speaker Mark told us all about the Woodland Park Rabbit Rescue he and Carrie pulled off. They also talked about the logistical and ethical challenges of animal rescues in general, along with problems like perceptions by media and other animal rightists. As Elizabeth put it, “Learning about different animals and the challenges they face with humans is always interesting. It is very pleasant to hear about events that have been successful in improving their environment.”

Something Rachel pointed out was that if you see something that bothers you–something you feel needs to get done–don’t wait for someone else to come up with a plan and carry it out. Just do it yourself. Mark and Carrie did just that. They saw a problem, and they solved it. If fur shops bug you, protest one! And people will join in and help you.

Opposing Cruelty: Circus Protest

Whitney & EricThe Ringling Bros circus came to Everett and animal advocates from all over were there to educate circus attendees about the animal cruelty involved in the “greatest show on earth.”

 

Ringling Bros has been cited over 100 times by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for repeatedly violating minimum standards of the Animal Welfare Act.

Their offenses include failure to provide veterinary care, safe and secure enclosures, sufficient space, adequate exercise, and proper feeding and sanitation. These violations pose a risk to both the public and to the animals’ lives.

Ringling Bros is on trial for allegations of abuses to their Asian elephants, in violation of the federal Endangered Species Act.

Former circus employees have testified that the elephants are so tightly chained by one front and one hind leg they cannot even turn around,

and chaining is a practice used on circus elephants virtually 96% of their lives.

 

Despite what Ringling Bros says, viewing wild animals performing in circuses is not a realistic educational tool.

In the wild, animals spend most of their lives foraging for food and raising young rather than spinning on giant balls or jumping through flames. 

To perform these tricks, circus animals are repeatedly and brutally trained using electric prods, spiked metal hooks and whips.

 

 

The idea that it is funny to see wild animals coerced into acting like clumsy humans, or thrilling to see powerful beasts reduced to cringing cowards by a whipcracking trainer is primitive and medieval. It stems from the old idea that we are superior to other species and have the right to hold dominion over them.”
—Dr. Desmond Morris, anthropologist, animal behaviorist, author

Opposing Cruelty: Dolphin Slaughter Protest 9/3/08

We all came out at lunch time to speak up for the dolphins in front of the Japanese Consulate downtown. In light of Japan’s killing of over 20,000 dolphins and The cute dolphins MUST LIVE.porpoises each year, we called upon Japanese authorities to ban the brutal slaughter of dolphins, porpoises, and other small whales.

Mike & Tove, loving the world's dolphins.Orca Network, Northwest Animal Rights Network, and Seattle Animal Rights Meetup were all there.Everyone at the Japanese Consulate It’s true, some people—like the woman who looked straight out of “Sex and the City” (or was it “101 Dalmations?”) who waved an impatient hand at us with a “No, I don’t want any!!” as she sped away in her convertible—had more important things to do than worry about dolphins being slaughtered. But most people were downright shocked to learn that people actually kill and eat dolphins. Dolphins are lanced in Japan.

Every year in Japan, fishermen round up and slaughter hundreds and even thousands of dolphins and other small whales. In the small fishing village of Taiji, entire schools of dolphins are driven into a hidden cove after a prolonged chase. Once trapped inside the cove, the fishermen kill the dolphins, slashing their throats with knives or stabbing them with spears. The water turns red with their blood, and the air fills with their screams.

[Photo above: Dolphins being lanced as they thrash around in the shallows on Iki Island, Nagasaki Prefecture. A similar fate awaits almost all those rounded up in ongoing "drive fisheries."]

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