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.
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: