Link of the Week

Link of the Week

i Aug 8th No Comments by

Humane Spot

News of Note

i Aug 8th No Comments by

Lab-Grown Human Cells Could Replace Animals For Cosmetics Testing
Good news for animal rights activists: Lab-grown human cells can be used to test for allergic reactions to cosmetics, possibly negating the practice of animal testing for certain compounds.  In the US, animals are still regularly used as test subjects in studies of the toxicity and allergy sensitivity of cosmetics, detergents and oils. But animal testing for cosmetics was banned in the European Union in 2009. Cosmetics manufacturers thus have no way to test their products for allergy sensitivity. (Animals are still used in a wide range of other tests, however.)

Peacock escapes from Central Park Zoo
A peacock has flown the coop, stealthily escaping from its home at the Central Park Zoo.  The male peacock “wandered” away from the Manhattan Zoo on Tuesday, said Wildlife Conservation Society spokeswoman Mary Dixon in a statement.

Salmon Days free-speech rules prompt lawsuit against city
The iconic Salmon Days Festival is at the center of a free-speech lawsuit after police threatened to arrest a man for distributing religious leaflets at the festival.  Snoqualmie resident Paul Ascherl sued the city in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Aug. 5 to challenge a municipal ordinance created to limit leafleting and other activities to designated “expression areas” at the fall festival.

Meatless Monday: A Toast To Vegan Wine
Though you think wine equals grapes equals vegan, it may not be so. Winemakers often use isinglass (refined sturgeon bladder) to filter out grape seeds and skins. Dee-lish? Not so much. And not vegan, either. Gelatin (pig or sometimes cow hoof), casein (milk protein), egg whites and other animalesque bits are likewise used in traditional wine filtration.

CDC: 1 death, 76 illnesses linked to ground turkey
Federal officials say one person has died from salmonella poisoning that appears to be linked to eating ground turkey, but the government so far has declined to say who produced the meat or initiate a recall.  Seventy-six people in 26 states have been made sick from the same strain of the disease, which the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says is resistant to many commonly prescribed antibiotics.

Severe drought forces Texas, Oklahoma ranchers to sell cattle, putting future of herds at risk
The drought that has baked pastures and dried ponds has ranchers in Texas and Oklahoma — the nation’s top two beef producers — culling their herds. Some have sold off all their cattle, Most cows sold are being sent to slaughter. When the drought ends, demand for animals to rebuild herds is likely to peak just as the nation’s cattle population is at its lowest since 1958.

Canines trained to help people with diabetes
Chloe was so rambunctious, her owner didn’t want her anymore.  Now the chocolate Labradoodle not only has a home, she also has a job, all thanks to Mark Hackathorn and Scott Smith, who turn homeless and surrendered dogs into service dogs.

The Human-Canine Bond: Can Play Cure PTSD in Dogs?
In her recent blog post, “Why Dogs Heal PTSD,” Tracy Stecker beautifully describes how the canine-human bond can help war veterans overcome PTSD and start getting back to normal.  We usually think of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) as a condition primarily afflicting such veterans. But battered children and spouses can also exhibit symptoms. Victims of automobile accidents, natural disasters, and violent crimes can too. So can abused dogs.

NY sets misdemeanor for attending animal fights
The possible penalty for attending animal fights in New York is going up.  A new law signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo raises the infraction from a violation to a misdemeanor with penalties up to three months in jail and $500 fines.

Ask a Vegan: How Do You Get Protein and Calcium?
When I first stopped drinking milk, I paid close attention to my calcium intake. Within weeks, I realized I was getting plenty, if not too much.  As for protein, as an avid runner, I was really concerned. I was halfway through training for a half-marathon when I went vegetarian, and waited until after the race to go completely meatless.  Looking back, I laugh at my concerns. A balanced vegan diet provides more than enough protein.

Action Alerts

i Aug 1st No Comments by

Support H.R. 2210: Sportsmanship in Hunting Act of 2011

Tell your Federal Representative and Senators to Support H.R. 2210: Sportsmanship in Hunting Act of 2011 that would prohibit the interstate transport of exotic mammals for the purpose of trophy hunting or penning in smaller than 1,000 acres, and would also ban remote-controlled Internet hunting.
Bill description: This bill would prohibit the interstate transport of exotic mammals for the purpose of trophy hunting or penning in smaller than 1,000 acres, and would also ban remote-controlled Internet hunting.

Contact your U.S. Representative

Contact your U.S. Senators

Read the full text of the bill and follow its progress here:

Write to the Seattle City Council and ask them to support the immediate release of the elephants to The Elephant Sanctuary.

Even a single-sentence message like:  ”Send the elephants at WPZ to The Elephant Sanctuary” will have an impact.
Consider the following points when writing your letters on behalf of the elephants incarcerated for life at Woodland Park Zoo or click on Issues for a complete overview of the elephant program:

– They have an inhumane amount of space (less than 1 acre), whereas they would have between 300 and 2200 acres at The Elephant Sanctuary.

– They are locked up in a small barn stall 16 – 17 hours a day for about 7 months of the year due to temperatures and wetness. At The Elephant Sanctuary, they would have 24-hour outdoor access all year long.

– Many elephants with symptoms similar to the elephants at WPZ, have thrived at The Elephant Sanctuary with it’s hundreds of acres of varying terrain, fresh foliage, and water features.

– The Woodland Park Zoo is managed privately but is still owned by the City of Seattle and overseen by the Parks, Neighborhoods & Education Committee.  About $6.5 million taxpayer dollars goes to support the zoo.

Individual emails listed below:

Sally Bagshaw, Seattle City Council, Parks Committee Chair             206-684-8801

Richard Conlin, Seattle City Council, Council President,             206-684-8805

Sally J. Clark, Seattle City Council,             206-684-8802

Nick Licata, Seattle City Council,             206-684-8803

Bruce Harrell, Seattle City Council,             206-684-8804

Tim Burgess, Seattle City Council,             206-684-8806

Jean Godden, Seattle City Council,             206-684-8807

Tom Rasmussen, Seattle City Council,             206-684-8808

Link of the Week

i Aug 1st No Comments by

PEW Environment Group

News of Note

i Aug 1st No Comments by

Big Chicken: Pollution and Industrial Poultry Production in America
Broiler chickens (raised for their meat) are produced by the millions in industrial facilities concentrated in just a handful of states, and much of the waste they produce ends up polluting the nation’s waterways. These are just two issues highlighted in Pew’s new report “Big Chicken: Pollution and Industrial Poultry Production in America”

Environmentalists, government debate wolf in court
Environmentalists went to federal court on Tuesday seeking to restore endangered species safeguards for some 1,200 gray wolves in Montana and Idaho removed from protection by an unprecedented act of Congress.

Bosnian bullfights have animal friendly rules
Bullfights in Bosnia were traditionally bloody affairs that included sharpening horns into pointed tips and beating the animals to enrage them into fighting, but the country’s desire to enter the EU put a stop to that three years ago. Now, bullfights are outlawed except under the supervision of a veterinarian and the animals must be allowed to act as they would in nature — which often means opting not to fight and exiting the ring after a few minutes.

Spain’s controversial bullfights granted special cultural status
Spain’s bullfights are certainly a draw for tourists and are considered a national treasure by many Spaniards. Now the controversial sport has been declared ‘an artistic discipline and cultural product’, protecting it from mounting pressure by animal rights campaigners who want the practice banned. The tradition is already illegal in Catalonia after a law was passed against it last year.

Agony and Ivory
Highly emotional and completely guileless, elephants mourn their dead—and across Africa, they are grieving daily as demand from China’s “suddenly wealthy” has driven the price of ivory to $700 a pound or more. With tens of thousands of elephants being slaughtered each year for their tusks, raising the specter of an “extinction vortex,”

Who Really Benefits from the Egg Industry Deal?
The Humane Society of the United States held an unusual press conference. The group announced an agreement with its long-time adversary, the United Egg Producers, to jointly seek federal legislation that would improve the housing conditions of egg-laying hens…I can’t help wondering, how much more progress might have been made at the local and state level had the reform movement been able to grow further.  Preemption stops that movement in its tracks, which is why industry insists on it.

Biologist explores possible creation of meat in factories
Nicholas Genovese is a lab-coated collection of incongruities. He’s being bankrolled by an animal rights group to make meat.  The molecular biologist is working in a lab at a land-grant university that pulls in millions in grants for its research on livestock. Yet the money backing him pushes the desire to end the use of animals as food.

Commentary: Vegan outrage
Fifteen million is a pretty big number.  That’s how many leaflets that the Vegan Outreach activist group claims to have put into the hands of college students…The majority of the students or young people who grab a Vegan Outreach leaflet aren’t looking to better their health. They’re looking to set the world right.

Growing menace: animal-rights terrorism
The phenomenon of increased violence committed by some extremists in the name of animal rights is a growing cause for concern.

SEALs canine commando piques interest in war dogs
Life after the military is looking brighter than ever for America’s four-legged veterans since one of their own helped in the mission to kill Osama bin Laden.

By Sterilizing Stray Cats, City Hopes to Cut Shelter Numbers
New York City has reached an agreement with animal-advocacy groups under which it will avoid having to build full-time shelters in Queens and the Bronx, but will step up its efforts to sterilize feral cats and to require owners to spay or neuter free-roaming cats.