After spending my bus commute this morning listening to my neighbor talk about his backyard chickens, I was reminded how much I still have to learn about advocating for animals. We talked about factory farming and rat poison and the waste of crops grown for animal feed. I wanted so much to mention the fates that the brothers of his hens suffered, but things were going well, and I wasn’t sure how to say it without a blaming edge in my voice that would sound more like scolding than information.
Being a strong advocate for animals does not always come naturally.
If you or someone you know feels the same way, consider attending NARN’s Animal Activism 101 class on Saturday, Feb. 25, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. It’s at 2100 24th Ave S, between Rainier Avenue and Mount Baker.
More details on our Facebook events page.
Northwest Animal Rights Network is a volunteer-run organization that has been fighting for the rights of animals for more than 30 years. In that spirit, NARN believes in the fundamental right of all individuals–humans and non humans alike–to be free from harassment, exploitation, and oppression. When we are threatened, harassed, or attacked as activists, it can become dangerous or impossible to do our work.
For these reasons, NARN stands with local activist Zarna Joshi. After a charged Seattle City Council meeting related to the Block the Bunker issue, Joshi was sexually harassed by a bunker supporter. Rather than let it slide, she spoke out. As a result, for the last few months Zarna has been harassed, threatened with rape and death, and otherwise attacked. While Zarna’s abuse happened at a Block the Bunker event, we know that this kind of thing could have–and certainly HAS–happened at animal rights demos and events.
Let us be clear: Women and other oppressed/marginalized people absolutely retain the right to defend themselves from misogyny and harassment. NARN supports Zarna Joshi and anyone else who makes the choice to resist oppression. We believe this resistance and mutual support is absolutely fundamental to our work as activists
Please take the time to watch Zarna’s illuminating response videos below. To read more about what patriarchy is and how it affects our work and lives, check out this article Why Patriarchy Persists (and How We Can Change It). Be sure to scroll all the way to the end for 10 ways you can take action.
The True Cost is a groundbreaking documentary that asks the simple question: “Who made my clothes?”
What does that have to do with animals? Well, as an animal rights organization, NARN advocates for all sentient beings to live a full life, to be free, and to not to be used and exploited. People, animals, and the earth are often exploited in the name of business.
The True Cost is playing at Central Cinema (1411 21st Ave., Seattle WA 98122) on Sunday, March 13, 2016 @4 PM.
Click here to see the trailer.
Tickets are only $8 and are available here.
The True Cost pulls back the curtain on the untold story and asks us to consider, who really pays the price for our clothing?
Filmed in countries all over the world, from the brightest runways to the darkest slums, this film will take you on an eye-opening journey around the world and into the lives of the many people and places behind our clothes.
The film sheds light on the wasteful nature of fast fashion and the horrible working conditions in the factories where cheap clothing is made.
We all wear clothes. Even if you don’t follow the latest trends or count “shopping” as one of your pastimes, there’s something in this film for you.
In light of our poster making party for the Black Lives Matter Rally, and of course next week’s Black Lives Matter Rally on Nov 27th, we’d like to share, and encourage everyone to read, this blog post from the Vine Sanctuary:
If you are interesting in learning more, please check out this additional resources:
On All Lives Matter:
On White Silence and 18 Daily Resolutions for White People to Fight Racism
On Systemic Racism (video)
In his new film, UNITY, writer/director Shaun Monson (the man behind EARTHLINGS) takes an in-depth look at what it truly means to be human. The film presents a message of love, tragedy and hope, all set against the backdrop of some of the most compelling 20th and 21st century footage imaginable.
It’s a one-night cinematic event, playing in multiple locations nationwide on August 12, 2015.
UNITY features a dizzying array of 100 celebrity narrators including Ellen Degeneres, Kevin Spacey, Adrian Grenier, Joaquin Phoenix, Selena Gomez, Adam Levine, Pamela Anderson, Ben Kingsley, Common, Deepak Chopra, Geoffrey Rush, Dr. Dre, Zoe Saldana, Aaron Paul, Jennifer Aniston, Jeff Goldblum, Moby, Susan Sarandon.
We were lucky enough to interrupt Shaun Monson’s busy schedule for an interview.
NARN: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself (where you grew up, what you did before making documentaries, are you vegan and if so, what made you decide to go vegan? If you aren’t, why not)?
SM: I was born and raised in Southern California. I always wanted to be a movie director, but it was a difficult industry to break into. I got my first chance directing a public service announcement commercial. I have been a vegan for around 15 years. I became one after seeing footage of animals being slaughtered for food.
NARN: Why did you decide to make Earthlings? What did you hope to accomplish? Are you happy with its impact?
SM: I made the film Earthlings because at the time, I was not aware of any film that tackled all of the issues involving human abuse of animals for economic purposes. With the movie Earthlings, I hoped to accomplish awareness of this exact issue. I am happy with the impact. It outdid what I had expected the film to do.
NARN: Why did you decide to make Unity? What do you hope to accomplish with it’s release?
SM: Unity is an extension of Earthlings. Earthlings focuses on the achievement of one group of beings (mainly animals), while Unity focuses on the perception of all beings. Like the last question, I hope to accomplish increased awareness.
NARN: I really like that this movie mentions social justice and other systems of oppression in addition to animal exploitation. Can you say a bit about why those issues are important to you and why you wanted to include them in your movie?
SM: Any time we deal with dominion, it is because a group of beings oppress another for whatever reason. On the surface, it may be social justice, but at the core, they deal with the same problem–dominion and all of its forms.
NARN: What other animal- or environmental-related documentaries do you admire?
SM: I like all of them. I commend anyone who is making an effort to raise awareness of suffering, dominion, injustice and other related issues.
NARN: How widely will Unity be distributed? How can we see it? How can we convince all of our friends to see it?
SM: For starters, theatrical distribution will be worldwide. But, since only a small percentage of the world lives within driving distances of a theater that is playing it, another worldwide release will occur online in the fall. As for encouraging friends and family to see it–tell them that if they are to see one documentary this year, please let it be Unity.
NARN: How did you get all of those celebrities to narrate it?
SM: It started with one, then two, then four, then eight and so on. It kept on multiplying. It took many years–not just to record, but to edit together.
Please watch Unity in theaters tomorrow!
Have you heard about the lecture series coming to UW in the new year?
Thinking Animals: Species, Power and the Politics of Care in the World is a four-part series being held at the Henry Art Gallery Auditorium at the University of Washington. The lectures are presented in partnership with the UW’s Critical Animal Studies working group.
If you’d like to learn more about the history, politics, and cultural dynamics of how humans see (or don’t see) animals, then grab a ticket for the series today!
For an in-depth review of the event, check out Christie Lagally’s article in City Living Seattle.
Single tickets for each event may be purchased for $20 at the door on the day of the event. The box office will open at 6:00 PM.
Speakers, Dates and Topics:
January 9: John Marzluff (School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, UW Seattle), “Welcome to Subirdia: Sharing our neighborhoods with wrens, robins, woodpeckers, and other wildlife.”
January 30: Wayne Pacelle (CEO of the Humane Society of the US), “Animal Protection in the 21st Century: Finding Clarity in Our Tangled, Contradictory Relationship with Animals.”
February 13: Kathryn Gillespie (Geography, UW Seattle), “The Cow with Ear Tag #1389: Species, Place and Power in U.S. Animal Agriculture.”
February 27: Lousia Mackenzie (French and Italian Studies at UW Seattle), “Thinking with Cats.”
March 6: María Elena García (Comparative History of Ideas and the Jackson School of International Studies, UW Seattle) and Tony Lucero (Jackson School of International Studies, UW Seattle), “Dancing Guinea Pigs and a Heroic Rottweiler: Animals, Culture, and Politics in Peru.”
All lectures start at 7 pm. For more information, please check out the Seattle Arts & Lectures page.
What: NARN wants to help a passionate animal activist who would have trouble affording the trip attend the Animal Rights National Conference in L.A. July 10-13, 2014. Learning from scholars and activists shouldn’t just be open to those who can afford it. Check out the incredible list of speakers from all over the world, from groups big and small, with a wide variety of perspectives and philosophies. There is something for everyone.
Who: Any current NARN member who is passionate about learning more about animal activism, animal liberation, animal rights, vegan outreach, intersectionality of oppression, and networking with fellow activists from around the world but who can’t easily pay for the cost of going. Preference will be given to applicants who have volunteered with NARN or shown some type of interest in activism already.
Funding: NARN will help cover the round trip flight from Seattle to LA, 4 nights hotel accommodations at the Westin LAX Hotel, 4 days of food, Event Registration Fee, and a ticket to the evening banquet. This package is worth approximately $1,100.
Deadline: May 2, 2014
Winner: NARN board members will score applicants based on five criteria as outlined in the application: 1. Amount of involvement with NARN, activism, or vegan outreach the applicant has already demonstrated 2. What they hope to gain from the conference 3. How they will bring what they learn back to the NARN community 4. Any unique background, ideas, or approach the applicant brings 5. Financial need.
Please apply! Hope to see you there!
Last year’s Animal Activism 101 workshop was such a hit, we’re doing it again!
If you’re new to activism, this is a great chance to learn about how to pick the right activities for your skills, strengths, and interests and how to actually get started.
If you’ve done some activism, but are new to the scene, we’ll share some tips, tricks, and best practices not only from NARN, but from other activists around the world.
We’ll talk about tabling, leafleting, demonstrations, writing, online activism, corporate campaigning, and using your unique talents and interests in making the world a better place for animals.
We’ll also talk about dealing with stress, the psychology of change, and how to be strategic in planning your activism, and how to deal with people on a personal level.
We want to build a strong community of NW vegans and animal activists. Let’s learn from each other, share what we know, support each other, and most importantly, be as effective as possible for the animals. The animals can’t wait. They need us now. Their future depends on our work!
Sunday, February 9th, 2014
12:30 – 3:30 pm
Cascade People’s Center
309 Pontius Ave N, Seattle, Washington 98109
Please RSVP on Facebook (or email email@example.com) so we know how many snacks to bring. If you want to bring something to share, please let us know.
This is a FREE event.
“To spend one’s life being angry, and in the process doing nothing to change it, is to me ridiculous. I could be mad all day long, but if I’m not doing a damn thing, what difference does it make?” ― Charles Fuller
When: Thursday, January 30th @ 8:30am – 4:00pm
Where: Department of Enterprise Services Auditorium
1500 Jefferson St. SE (Olympia, WA) (map)
Washington’s animal advocates will soon fill the halls of the Washington State Department of Enterprise Services in Olympia for Humane Lobby Day 2014. You can be in on this exciting action, too! Join your HSUS state director Dan Paul for one day that can make all the difference for animals.
Don’t worry if you’re new to lobbying or are unfamiliar with the issues. What’s important is that you’re there. We’ll be there with you every step of the way.
What is Humane Lobby Day? It’s a one-day event in your state where you can meet with your elected officials and their staff about animal protection issues in Washington.
Why is your participation in Lobby Day so critical? We know legislators are most motivated when their constituents take time to meet face-to-face. It’s your chance to show how much animals mean to you.
Reserve your spot now for Humane Lobby Day 2014! Dan Paul is happy to help with additional questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’d like to attend this event you can RSVP online.
Did you know that we are going to the Animal Rights National Conference June 27-June 30, 2013 in Washington DC? It’s true! Well, not the whole board, or every NARN member, but one board member and hopefully some NARN supporters.
If you haven’t heard of this conference, then you’ll be astounded by its breath: 3+ days of content, networking sessions, 90+ speakers, an awards banquet, 80+ vegan vendors, movie screenings, amazing sponsors (see below), and more than 1000 attendees. Not to mention, one of my personal heroes, stand up comedian, Myq Kaplan. Check out the extensive program.
I’m personally most excited by the sessions that focus on new strategies and the psychology of social change. Here are some of the talks I plan to attend and hopefully bring back all sorts of smarts for NARN and our NW community:
I’m particularly drawn to the talks that include Dr. Alex Hershaft. Originally from Warsaw Poland, Dr. Hershaft is the founder of FARM USA and a holocaust survivor. I think his story, his life, his dedication, and even his non-AR reputation are fascinating and I hope to get to meet him personally.
If you want to get last-minute flight to DC and join me, please do! If not, comment below on the talks you want me to attend and blog about. I can also purchase the audio recordings of any session you want for $9, the key notes for $15 each, or the entire 3 day conference for only $150.