Stop Congress from overturing animal protection laws

Stop Congress from overturing animal protection laws

Urgent Action Alert:
Animals suffering on factory farms urgently need your help.

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a version of the Farm Bill that includes the dangerous “King Amendment”—a measure that would override state animal protection laws nationwide.

act now linkIf enacted, the King Amendment would nullify the few state laws that do provide protection to farmed animals, such as laws banning cruel crates and cages, prohibiting the force-feeding of ducks, and forbidding horse slaughter and shark finning.

The shameful King Amendment, proposed by animal cruelty defender Rep. Steve King of Iowa, is also a threat to laws governing environmental protection, worker safety, and more.

The Farm Bill is currently under review by a joint congressional committee, which has the authority to remove the King Amendment.

It is crucial that you speak out against this dangerous legislation, which will have devastating consequences if enacted.

Please contact your U.S. representatives today and urge them to oppose the King Amendment to the Farm Bill.

Click here to take action now!

Thank you!

Belgium bans wild animals in circuses

On the heels of Great Britian, Greece, Austria, Slovenia, Colombia, Bolivia and Peru, the Belgian government has approved a new law that bans all wild animals from circuses.

Circus tent

The ban still must be approved by Parliament, but with 130 cities and municipalities already refusing circuses with wild animals, it shouldn’t be a tough sell.

Animal activists in Belgium have worked hard for this day. They knew that animals’ needs couldn’t be met in a circus and they worked with the people and government to implement the ban.

Circuses with animal acts take note: This is the direction of the future of entertainment. Change with the times or get left behind.

Jungle Party Demonstration for Bamboo, Chai and Watoto

Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants is joining IDA (In Defense of Animals) for this year’s Jungle Party Demonstration for Bamboo, Chai and Watoto, the three elephants on display at the Woodland Park Zoo. Jungle Party is the zoo’s largest fundraiser and Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants will be present to make the donors aware of the elephants’ pathetic lives.

What: Rally for Bamboo, Chai and Watoto
When: 4pm – 6:30 pm; Friday, July 12, 2013. Come for all or part of the time.
Where: Woodland Park Zoo’s WEST entrance (on Phinney Ave N. at N. 55th, Seattle, WA  98103)

Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants and IDA will also be protesting the composition of the task force that the zoo formed after years of criticism over the elephant program, the two scathing Seattle Times reports and subsequent two editorials calling for Bamboo, Chai and Watoto’s retirement to a sanctuary. The zoo is concerned about its image and the task force is about damage control, not looking after the elephants’ best interests.

Woodland Park Zoo chose all members of the task force, most of whom are financially and personally invested in the zoo. There are the five current or past zoo board members on the force—a clear conflict of interest. Dr. Slinker, a zoo board and task force member, chose the health panel. He co-authored an op-ed in The Seattle Times in which he said the elephants don’t have foot problems (which they do) and should stay at the zoo.

This task force is all about assuaging donors not Bamboo, Chai and Watoto’s welfare.  It clearly shows the zoo is concerned about their insistence on keeping elephants in their tiny display.

Also: Please come to all or part of the next task force meeting on Monday, July 22nd from 4pm – 7pm or 8pm (to be announced). It will be at the Seattle downtown library at 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle, WA 98104-1109 206-386-4636

Does Leafleting Make You Uncomfortable?

i Jul 9th No Comments by

Does the idea of vegan leafleting make you uncomfortable? Hate telling people what to do? Don’t want to be an inconvenient vegan? You aren’t some zealot after all. But what if you knew that just an hour of leafleting would save 12 animals from the horror of factory farming? That is twelve individuals who would be spared a short lifetime of torture, fear, neglect, and death. Twelve. For 60 minutes of your time.(1)

We know that people need to see/hear something on average of seven times before noticing it and we may need to hear something many different ways before understanding how it fits in with our lives. We also know that many, many, many people still don’t know what animals go through to become food and likely never think about the suffering and death behind their food choices. Add to this that people need to be in the right mind-set to take in counter-couture information, and it makes saving animals through adopting a vegan diet seem daunting.

LeafletingPhoto

Photos from Vegan Out Reach (http://www.veganoutreach.org/)

But. Do you remember why you became vegan? Whether you were influenced by someone in your life, something you read, or even something you discovered on your own, you likely came into contact with pro-vegan or pro-animal information many times before that moment without totally registering it. And having these memories probably helped build your overall education of animal exploitation and your response to that knowledge. Literature, websites, posters, videos, social media posts, essays, classes, leaflets and conversations with peers typically all help people discover, adopt, and maintain a more compassionate lifestyle. But that doesn’t happen magically. Caring, dedicated, and hopeful people have to create and distribute that information.

This is where you and leafleting come in. As Matt Ball, founder of Vegan Outreach explains, “For example, of you provide booklets to sixty new people tomorrow and just one decides to go vegetarian, you will have changed that person’s life forever. More importantly, you’ll have saved, with just a small investment of time or money, as many animals as you’ll save with every food choice you make during the rest of your life!” That is doubling your life impact in one day. Every person who adopts a vegetarian or vegan diet will save about one hundred animals each year(2).

Although it is difficult measure just how many people will reduce their meat consumption or go veg from one hour of leafleting, there are recent studies done on vegan leafleting on college campuses that can give us a hint. In a study by the Humane League and Compassionate Communities, they found:

  • About 1 out of every 50 students who received a leaflet indicated they became vegetarian or pescatarian as a result.
  • 7% of students (1 in 14) said they now eat “a lot less” chicken, a lot fewer eggs, and a lot less dairy as a result of getting the leaflet.
  • 6% eat a lot less fish.
  • 12% eat a lot less red meat.

And about 1 in 5 students said they shared the leaflet with someone else who then began to eat less meat.(3) The average audience may not be as receptive as college students, but even if they were half as receptive, leafleting still has a huge bang for its buck and for your time. Check out this great pamphlet by Mall Ball, “A Meaningful Life” for some additional inspiration.

You don’t have to do it alone. Join NARN on Saturday July 13, 2013 at 11:00 am for a quick introduction to leafleting best practices and then head out with a few other people to the West Seattle Summer Fest. RSVP on Facebook or email rachel [at] narn.org for more information. And if you are reading this post after July 13, just be sure to follow the NARN Facebook Page or subscribe to our newsletter to find out about future leafleting outings. And of course, you don’t have to wait for us – the power of leafleting is that it can be done by one person, anytime, anywhere.

Doing vegan outreach is not like religious proselytizing. You aren’t trying to convert anyone to any belief. You only giving them factual information that they might not otherwise have. Free information. Free recipes. Some inspiration. You don’t have to argue, convince, or cajole. Be open to conversation and remember to be compassionate towards human animals too.

More Resources for You!

References:
(1) Farm Sanctuary, Leaflet, http://ccc.farmsanctuary.org/promote-veg-eating/leaflet/ (2012).
(2) Mark Hawthorne, Striking at the Roots: A Practical Guide to Animal Activism (O-Books, 2008), 23.
(3) Nick Cooney, The Powerful Impact of College Leafleting (Part 1), http://ccc.farmsanctuary.org/the-powerful-impact-of-college-leafleting-part-1/ (Jan, 2012).

Running with the bulls

i Jul 8th No Comments by

It’s time again for another blood sport bath. Every summer from July 6th to 14th, the San Fermin Festival takes place in Pamplona, Spain. It’s a festival honoring Saint Fermin, a 3rd Century Roman who converted to Christianity.

Sadly, the festival revolves around the running of the bulls. Every morning bulls are forced onto slippery cobblestone streets filled with thousands of crazed revelers. As fireworks and explosives go off, the terrified animals run through a cordoned off section that creates a chute of sorts. The route leads to a bull ring, where they will be tortured and killed.

Photo credit: Bernard bill5 at nl.wikipedia

Photo credit: Bernard bill5 at nl.wikipedia

The festival is steeped in tradition related to transporting bulls to market. Today, it attracts mainly tourists, who think running among terrified animals makes them macho. It’s not brave or masculine. It’s shameful.

Many Spaniards oppose this cruelty. This year, animal rights activists from PETA UK and Spain’s Anima Naturalis joined forces to demonstrate against the barbaric practice. They stood in coffins (representing the 48 bulls that will be killed during the festival) to protest.

Photo credit: RAFA RIVAS/AFP/Getty Images

Photo credit: RAFA RIVAS/AFP/Getty Images

The San Fermin festival attracts thousands of tourists to watch the bull runs. Bull fighting is actually on the decline but tourism keeps it alive. When travelling, stay far away from bull fights and other forms of cruelty and vote with your dollar. Spain is a beautiful country so enjoy the scenery, hospitality, dance, art, architecture, nature and beaches instead.

Morro Bay Aquarium in CA Closes

City officials of Morro Bay, CA, have voted not to renew the lease of the 50-year-old Morro Bay Aquarium.  In the ocean, harbor seals can dive more than 650 feet and stay underwater for 10 minutes at a time. Sea lions are social animals by nature, and form colonies, where they live and play together and can swim at a rate of 7 mph. For decades, the sea lions, seals, and fish at the Morro Bay Aquarium have been imprisoned in barren concrete cells only a few feet wide and a few feet deep. During the last three years alone, the facility received sixteen citations for not meeting even the minimum federal standards of care (goodness knows hardly stringent) — including failing to feed a significantly underweight sea lion properly and putting a harbor seal in a 20-inch deep pool.Courtesy: PETA

According to PETA, who was instrumental in the closure, “The Morro Bay Aquarium’s barren, shallow display tanks deprive seals and sea lions of everything that they need to survive and thrive, including room to swim, depth to dive, and the companionship of their families.” According to the aquarium owner, Bertha Tyler, “They want to do something that is not the truth. They are selling stories that are not sold because I know our animals have lived here a long time. We have one that’s Maggie. She is 28 years old and we also have had them live to 32 years old but they don’t say that.”

Just saying…that’s what she said.