Ban on Battery Cages Proposed for WA Ballot

Ban on Battery Cages Proposed for WA Ballot

The Humane Society of the United States, Farm Sanctuary, and other animal welfare groups, along with a coalition of other concerned organizations, have joined together as Washingtonians for Humane Farms, and have drawn up a ballot initiative proposal for the November 2011 vote. It is called the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, the purpose of which is to ban the use of so-called “battery cages,” and other measures which confine egg-laying hens in a manner that does not allow them to turn around freely, lie down, stand up, or fully extend their wings. There are over six million egg-laying hens within Washington State that are confined in battery cages, each one having less space than a single sheet of paper upon which to spend more than a year before being slaughtered.

We as NARN support this measure as a step in the goal of ending the abuse and exploitation of all animals. In NARN’s view, this bill is not merely an end unto itself, but a pragmatic step to lessen the suffering of animals right now as we work towards a truly humane, compassionate and respectful future where animals are no longer seen as mere commodities. Animals have inherent rights to live a full natural life not confined, used or killed by humans, but until such measures are in place ensuring the freedom of animals, we all have an obligation to help the animals that are suffering now. Until the majority of people believe that animals shouldn’t be raised for food, proposed laws like this are necessary to protect them from the worst abuses. So while we continue to advocate that veganism is the best and most consistent way for people to respect the lives of animals, we also encourage support for the effort to get this measure on the November 2011 ballot.

While we support this measure, we want to make sure the public knows and understands what this initiative will and will not do if it passes.

What it will do:
– Assuming it doesn’t get repealed or altered in the next seven years, the use of battery cages will be banned in Washington State starting in 2018, along with other confinement methods which prevents hens from turning around freely, fully extending their wings, standing up or laying down.

What it will not do:
– It will not necessarily ensure a clean pleasant environment for hens; it does not stop the practice of housing multitudes hens in manure-filled sheds where they have no access to outside fresh air, sun or pasture.
– It will not stop the standard agricultural practice of “de-beaking,” the use of a hot guillotine to remove the points off of hen’s sensitive beaks to ensure they don’t peck each other while living in crowded conditions.
– It will not ensure the full natural lifespan of hens raised for egg-production; even though hens can live up to ten years, they are shipped off to slaughter after a year or so when their egg production drops and replaced with younger, fresher hens.
– It will not stop the standard agricultural practice of hatcheries that provide replacement hens from killing all male chicks that are hatched by grinding them up alive or suffocating them in trash bags as they provide no economic value.

While this initiative will take a step towards alleviating some of the suffering, it does not ensure that the hens will be treated humanely. But since there are precious few laws that address animal cruelty, which usually provide protections only to certain animals, such as dogs, cats, horses, and the like, and almost no laws in place that address the treatment of animals raised for food production, this initiative takes an important first step of providing a legislative precedent. Signatures are needed to get it on the ballot, so please spread the word, sign the petition when you see it offered, and volunteer to be a signature-gatherer.

Action Alerts

Support Prevention of Animal Cruelty Bill: SB 5065 and HB 1147

Save Washington Pets (Washington Alliance for Humane Legislation) is taking a lead role in advocating for the passage of SB 5065/HB 1147.  We’ll keep you posted on this bill’s progress through this web page, our email newsletter, and Facebook page. You can help by participating in public hearings or contacting your legislators before key votes. Want more information? Track SB 5065 and HB 1147 on the legislature’s website where you can download the bills. For a two-page summary, download our flyer here.

A hearing on SB 5065 is scheduled before the Senate Judiciary Committee:  January 28, 2011, 1:30 p.m., Senate Hearing Room 1, J.A. Cherberg Building, State Capitol Campus, Olympia, WA.  Note: hearing schedules are subject to change. Check the hearing schedule for the committee here.

Sign Up for Humane Lobby Day – Feb 17th

Sign up with Washingtonians for Humane Farms

Eye on the Legislature – Bills to Watch

Preventing animal cruelty  Senate Bill 5065
Introduced by Sen. Michael Carrell, (R-Lakewood) (R) on January 12, 2011, to revises animal cruelty provisions by expanding the definition of necessary food and water and shelter to more closely meet the needs of and sustain animals. The bill prohibits violators not just from owning specified animals, but from living with them. It also imposes a fine of one-thousand dollars for the first violation, and two-thousand five hundred dollars for a second violation. Subsequent violations are a gross misdemeanor. (Companion: HB 1147).

Senate Bill 5356 (Establishing seasons for hunting cougars with the aid of dogs)
Introduced by Sen. Bob Morton, (R – Kettle Falls) (R) on January 21, 2011, to direct the Fish and Wildlife Commission to establish rules and a season for hunting cougars with the aid of dogs. This act also removes conditions on the use of dogs in cougar hunting only as a last resort and solely for the purpose of protecting livestock, although the Commission may impose conditions in its rules. (Companion: HB 1124).

Senate Bill 5151 (Creating a pet population control and safety program)
Introduced by Sen. Maralyn Chase, (D-Shoreline) (D) on January 17, 2011, to create the companion animal safety, population control, and spay/neuter assistance program and spay/neuter assistance account. The program provides for spaying and neutering of feral and free-roaming cats and companion animals owned by low-income individuals. It requires the department to administer the program and authorizes private veterinarians, private veterinary practices, animal care and control agencies, and nonprofit organizations to apply to the department to participate in the program.
Senate Bill 5144 (Requiring registration of animal abusers)
Introduced by Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, (D-Bothell) (D) on January 17, 2011, to requires the registration of animal abusers and authorize the release of certain information on animal abusers. “Animal abuser” means a person over eighteen years of age, or a minor who has been tried as an adult, who has been convicted of a criminal animal abuse offense. The attorney general is required to keep the registry and make it available for public access over the internet. The information includes an abuser’s personal information, but not his/her social security number, a record of his/her animal abuse convictions, and his/her photograph.

House Bill 1243 (Concerning crimes against animals belonging to another person)
Introduced by Rep. Joel Kretz, (R-Wauconda) (R) on January 17, 2011, creates a class C felony for intentionally killing or harming another’s livestock. This act allows the owner of livestock damaged by such conduct to file a civil lawsuit and collect triple the amount of damages if prevailing. This act also adds livestock to the class of animals protected under current animal cruelty laws.

Link of the Week

Washingtonians for Humane Farms

News of Note

Animal-rights groups fault Washington egg producers’ practices
Two national animal-welfare groups have selected Washington as their next target for changes in farm-industry practices.  The groups — The Humane Society of the United States and Farm Sanctuary — filed initiative language on Tuesday that would require state egg producers to give their hens enough room to turn around and extend their wings, and that all eggs sold here come from farms that meet those standards, as well.

Animal rights groups ‘outraged’ at bill
Alley Cat Allies, a national advocacy organization, is taking action against a Top of Utah legislator and his proposed bill regarding feral cats.  Based in Bethesda, Md., Alley Cats Allies, which claims to be dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats, is just one of the animal-rights organizations that are opposed to Utah House Bill 210. The organization has started an action center against the proposed bill by Rep. Curt Oda, R-Clearfield, which would change the state’s animal cruelty law to allow the killing of feral animals, pests and rodents.

Sluggish? Confused? Vitamin B12 May Be Low
Those are also symptoms of a deficiency of B12, a key nutrient needed to make red blood cells and DNA and keep the nervous system working right.  Vitamin B12 deficiency is officially considered rare, affecting about 1 in 1,000 Americans, according to a 2005 study. But the incidence rises with age, to about 15% of elderly people. The rate is also much higher among people who don’t eat meat or dairy products, people with absorption problems, people taking acid-blocking medications and those with Type 2 diabetes who take the drug Metformin.

Study: Can a Veggie-Rich Diet Make You More Beautiful?
There are so many healthy reasons to eat vegetables that it feels redundant to keep enumerating them. But if a stronger immune system, cancer-fighting antioxidants and heart-healthy fiber aren’t reason enough for some, perhaps we can appeal to their vanity: a study published in the journal Evolution and Human Behaviour found that eating foods high in carotenoids — a nutrient found in some fruits, leafy greens and root vegetables — gave them a healthy glow that rivaled a sun tan and made them more attractive in tests.

Why I Stopped Being Vegan and Started Using Butter
I consider myself a staunch and, at times, an overzealous local food advocate. I grew up in an area with farms. I’ve worked on an organic farm. I write about food. I regularly attend farmers’ markets. I support organic and local whenever possible. I wrote my thesis on local food. I think I own almost every book and cookbook on local food. It’s an obsession. But it wasn’t until my life as a vegan and locavore came to a crossroads that I began to think about butter: Is it possible to really support my local economy, maintain my commitment to the environment and be vegan?

Proposition B Up For Debate in Jefferson City
A new law to curtail problem dog breeders could get repealed before it even goes into effect. Missouri voters approved Proposition B last November. It goes into effect in November of 2011. The initiative petition created tough new rules for dog breeders keeping ten or more breeding females. Supporters say it will make major improvements in living conditions for the dogs and result in healthier pets sold to consumers.

Pet bunnies in peril as Year of the Rabbit nears
With just days to go before the Year of the Rabbit dawns, animal-welfare groups in Asia are warning of an inevitable outcome: abandoned and neglected bunnies.  Pet retailers across the region are seeing brisk demand for the furry, fast-breeding creatures ahead of the Lunar New Year, which falls on February 3 in the Chinese almanac.

Pet Legislation Passes
The New York City Council approved two bills Tuesday aimed at protecting animals, winning praise from some animal advocates.  The council voted 47-1 to prohibit tethering an animal for more than three consecutive hours in any continuous 12-hour period.  The council voted 41-7 to increase the annual fee for licensing dogs that aren’t spayed or neutered to $34 from $11.50.

Wal-Mart Shifts Strategy to Promote Healthy Foods
Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest retailer, will announce a five-year plan on Thursday to make thousands of its packaged foods lower in unhealthy salts, fats and sugars, and to drop prices on fruits and vegetables.

New Language Discovered: Prairiedogese
Professor Con Slobodchikoff of Northern Arizona University has spent the past 30 years studying a foreign tongue. But there are no instructional podcasts or evening classes to help him: Slobodchikoff is trying to learn prairie dog.

Vegan Breakfast Recipes

For those of you wanting to make a transition to a vegan lifestyle, breakfast can seem problematic. After being raised on a diet of sausages, scrambled eggs, pancakes, and the like, you may not know where to start; substituting soy-milk for milk is easy enough, but what if you are in the mood for an egg muffin sandwich? Vegan Coach has compiled a list of tried-and-true vegan breakfast recipes that are both healthy and fulfilling enough to jump-start your day, everything from French toast, vegan sausages, pancakes, and yes, even an all-vegan “egg” and “ham” muffin sandwich!

If you’re a scrambled egg lover, try the scrambled tofu recipe. You’ll love it, and after the third time, your taste buds will be accustomed to it and it’ll be your new scrambled eggs — and more enjoyable, since you don’t have to push out the dark thoughts about how the food ended up on your plate.

Finally, breakfast you’ll look forward to waking up for!

Action Alerts

Ask South Korea to Stop Burying Animals Alive
outh Korea has been burying pigs, cows, goats, and deer ALIVE in order to minimize the spread of yet another outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). South Korea could vaccinate these animals; instead the government has decided on live burial for 1,340,000 animals, including 1,230,000 pigs.
Please write, call, email, and fax the South Korean Embassy to express your outrage over the way they are handling this situation.

Embassy of the Republic of Korea
Duk-soo Han, Ambassador
2320 Massachusetts Ave. NW.
Washington, DC 20008
Phone: 202-939-5663/5660
Fax: 202-342-1597

Also, contact the Seattle embassy to voice your concerns:
Phone: 206-441-1011
Fax: 206-441-7912

Please also submit your comments via this online form.

Tell Iditarod Sponsors to End Their Support of Cruelty to Dogs
Please help end the horrific treatment of dogs by sending protest emails to organizations that support the Iditarod. The 2011 Iditarod begins on March 5.

Contact many of these sponsors directly.
Below is only a partial list.  For a full listing of Iditarod Sponsors, check out this link or
check out Help Sled Dogs
The link also has grouped together the emails in several chucks at the bottom of the page.


Doug Nicholson, President (Barrick/Novagold Resources Company) (sponsor)
Donlin Creek LLC
4720 Business Park Blvd., Suite G25
Anchorage, AK 99503
Phone: 888-225-7590
Fax: 907-273-0201

Eagle Pack/WellPet (Berwind-White Coal Mining Company) (sponsor)
3000 Centre Square West
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102
Phone: 215-563-2800
Fax: 215-575-2314

Patrick T. Stokes
K & L Distributors, Inc. (AB-Inbev distributor) (sponsor)
1 Busch Place
St. Louis, MO 63118
Fax: 314-577-2900
Toll Free: 800-342-5283

Sergio Marchionne, CEO
Chrysler Group LLC (sponsor)
PO Box 21-8004
Auburn Hills, MI 48321-8004

Muhtar Kent, CEO
Coca-Cola – Odom Corporation (sponsor)
1 Coca-Cola Plaza
Atlanta, GA 30313
Phone: 404-676-2121
Fax: 404-676-6792

Richard Hartman
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (sponsor)
Scarsdale Place, Kensington
London W8 5SR, United Kingdom
Phone: +44-20-7872-2444
Fax: +44-20-7872-2460

John Stumpf, CEO
Wells Fargo & Company (sponsor)
402 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94163
Toll free: 800-411-4932
Fax: 415-677-9075

David Dillon, CEO
Kroger Company (Fred Meyer Stores) (sponsor)
1014 Vine St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Phone: 513-762-4000
Fax: 513-762-1160

Link of the Week

i Jan 17th No Comments by

Humane Spot is the world’s most comprehensive database of public opinion and behavior research about animals and related environmental issues. Access is entirely free.

News of Note

i Jan 17th No Comments by

Animal rights groups slam Canada-China seal deal
Canada, which failed in a public-relations campaign to convince Europe that the seal hunt is humane, will also flop in its “insulting” attempt to find consumers in China, animal rights groups said yesterday.  Chinese animal welfare groups have accused the Canadian government of “racist bias” and “cultural imperialism” for selling their country seal products that have been banned by the European Union.

Conspiracies Don’t Kill Birds. People, However, Do.
At the beginning of this month when about 5,000 red-winged blackbirds fell from the sky in one night in Arkansas, biologists were called on to put a damper on public speculation about pesticides and secret military tests by reminding everyone how many birds there are and how many die. They often do so as a result of human activity, but in far more mundane and dispiriting ways than conspiracy buffs might imagine.

Animals suffering in Brisbane flood crisis
It is not just people who have been affected by floods swamping Queensland – animals too are suffering terribly.  Domestic pets, wild animals and commercial livestock have all been caught up in the disaster.

Penguins Harmed by Tracking Bands, Study Finds
Bands attached to penguins’ flippers have helped scientists track their movement and migration for 50 years. The small identification tags are visible to researchers through binoculars from 100 feet away. Now, a new study reports that the seemingly innocuous bands have a significant effect on penguin mortality.

Bill would make torturing dog or cat felony offense
A Mississippi legislator has introduced a bill that aims to make cruelty against cats and dogs a felony in the state. The measure, which seeks to impose up to a $10,000 fine and a maximum five-year prison term on first-time violators, would not apply to hunting, farming and other practices. Similar legislation failed to advance in the state last year.

Sit. Stay. Parse. Good Girl!
Chaser, a border collie who lives in Spartanburg, S.C., has the largest vocabulary of any known dog. She knows 1,022 nouns, a record that displays unexpected depths of the canine mind and may help explain how children acquire language.

Bill sheds light on equine industry issues
The introduction of a state bill that could pave the way for the reopening of horse processing plants in Nebraska has led to increased awareness about some of the issues currently plaguing the equine industry.  The struggling economy has left many people unable to afford the luxury of owning a horse. The result is that horse owners are often left at a crossroads – find the horses a new home or have them euthanized.

Utah bill would permit shooting feral animals
A Utah legislator wants to change the state’s animal cruelty law to make it legal to shoot and kill feral animals.  Rep. Curt Oda, R-Clearfield, doesn’t think feral animals should be protected by a state law that makes animal cruelty a felony.  Under House Bill 210, the humane killing of feral animals, pests and rodents would be exempt from that law.

Chef bows out of Winterlude over foie gras fiasco
A famous Quebec chef has bowed out of Ottawa’s winter festival in defiant defence of one of his staple dishes: foie gras.  The Winterlude furore stems from an ongoing debate over the ancient delicacy, now increasingly threatened by calls for it to be banned because of its alleged cruelty to animals.   Organizers say they and the event sponsors faced instant pressure by animal-rights activists over the potential use of foie gras on Picard’s menu.

Joint Replacements Keep Dogs in the Running
Joint replacement has helped larger working dogs return to hunting, aiding the blind and assisting in search-and-rescue missions and other police activities, not to mention relieving the pain of beloved pets. Although hip-replacement surgery for bigger dogs has been performed since the mid-1970s, micro-hip replacement for cats and dogs weighing 6 to 30 pounds began in the last five years.

Walgreen to bring fresh food to “food deserts”
Walgreen Co plans to add more fresh food to about 400 stores in areas where access to produce and other goods is scarce, as it tries to position itself as a one-stop shop for health and daily needs.  The drugstore chain has already added fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and a variety of other fare to 10 stores in parts of Chicago where grocery stores are hard to find.

The Top Most Inspiring Vegan Recipes and Cooking Blogs

i Jan 14th No Comments by

Greetings one and all!

Welcome once again. I hope that those of you who are with our Vegan Mentor Program have been able to continue on your path either on veganism or working towards it. One concern that some of you have mentioned is in finding vegan recipes that are not only easy, but also inspire you to be in the kitchen to cook. Popular food blog The Kitchn has compiled what they feel are the top 10 most inspiring vegan cooking blogs, with appealing layouts, beautifully presented photos that make you hungry just looking at them, and humor and character from the authors.

And The Kitchn has been featuring quite a few vegan recipes on their own, and they’ve also compiled what they feel are the top 25 vegan recipes from their own archives, from breakfast through dessert.

Take a look around and I guarantee you’ll find something which will inspire you to zip into the kitchen and break out those pots and pans! Happy cooking!