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NARN Stands Against Patriarchy and All Oppression

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.

Update on Lolita: Records Show Dolphins Scrape Her Skin, Other Issues

Only if the orca Lolita faced “grave harm” would her captors at Seaquarium in Miami be deemed in violation of the Endangered Species Act, a judge ruled earlier this summer.

Apparently the fact that the dolphins with whom Lolita shares a small tank have scraped their teeth on her skin more than 50 times in one year does not constitute such harm. That and other signs of illnesss and misery were reported this week by The Seattle Times.

Lolita, who’s also known as Tokitae and was stolen as a young whale from the waters of Penn Cove in the Pacific Northwest, is 20 feet long. The tank she shares with the dolphins is 80 feet at its widest.

The PETA Foundation said it will appeal the judge’s ruling.

Cute Wolf Pup Video — Help Keep Them on the Endangered List

A federal judge has ruled that gray wolves should be reclassified as an endangered species. He called the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to turn management over to Idaho and Montana but keep the endangered designation in Wyoming “at its heart a political solution.”

Now a Senate bill called the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act is attempting to override that ruling — and going further by allowing “predator control” on national wildlife refuges in Alaska.

Please ask Senators Maria Cantwell (202-224-3441) and Patty Murray (202-225-3106) to oppose this bill, which would be devastating to gray wolves and other wildlife.

Let’s Help Stop a New Aquarium in Mississippi

tursiops_truncatus_leaping

Photo: NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center

Like so many sea animals, dolphins were tremendously harmed when BP spilled more than 4 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant thinks that — and the fact that his state’s last aquarium was ruined by Hurricane Katrina — makes a new aquarium on the coast a good way to spend $17 million of the damage money the state is getting from BP. “The outdoor water feature includes a dolphin exhibit where visitors could feed and touch the animals,” according to the SunHerald in Biloxi.

Gov. Bryant is wrong.

“I used to work as a dolphin trainer at Marine Life in Gulfport, before it was washed away by Hurricane Katrina. I know first-hand that a new facility for captive dolphins is the last thing Mississippi needs,” according to an online petition to stop the new aquarium.

The public has already made clear that they don’t want to see orcas in captivity. Why would they want to see dolphins?

Please sign the petition above and write to Gov. Bryant letting him know the BP money should go to a more worthy project. Here’s his online contact page.

Please Ask Senators to Pass Chemical Safety Bill That Would Save Animals

Photo: Bill Branson, NIH

It’s a big name — the Toxic Substances Control Act reform bill — and it could save tens of thousands of animals from chemical testing.

The House passed its version of TSCA reform this week 403 to 12. The bill minimizes animal testing and focuses on more efficient and less costly testing methods, which would save animals from being fed deadly chemical and having them rubbed on their skin and in their eyes.

Now Rand Paul is holding up the bill in the Senate.

“Well, it looks like American families will have to wait a bit longer for better protection from toxic chemicals” given Rand’s decision, Robert Denison, a lead senior scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund, wrote in a blog post.

Please contact Senators Maria Cantwell (202-224-3441) and Patty Murray (202-225-3106) to encourage them to move ahead with the bill.

How Ray the Rescue Pony Came Home, and Could Help Change the Law

When a family in rural Washington found an elderly Shetland pony wandering along the road, they took him in and, if his owners weren’t found, hoped to keep him.

Because of a misguided state law, they couldn’t. He was sent to auction, where they paid a pretty penny to keep him, as Animal News Northwest recounts in the tale of Runaway Ray the Pony.

If no one had bought Ray, his fortunates would have gone the way of other stray livestock: to Mexico or Canada to be slaughtered.

Fortunately, State Rep. Michelle Caldier (R-Port Orchard) sat in on the auction and tried to change the law so that animals like Ray can be adopted, if someone is willing and able, rather than auctioned.

A hearing for House Bill 2500 is scheduled for this Thursday, Jan. 28, before the House Committee on Agriculture & Natural Resources.

Please contact bill sponsor Rep. Caldier to voice your support: (360) 786-7802 and/or michelle.caldier@leg.wa.gov.

Committee Chair Brian Blake (D-Aberdeen) is a co-sponsor, as are Jesse Young (R-Gig Harbor), Tom Dent (R-Moses Lake) and Lynda Wilson (R-Vancouver).

Fish & Wildlife Wants Feedback. Let's Do That.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is traveling the state this fall seeking public comments to help determine what values and priorities will drive the department over the next several years.

These meetings will help identify changes in WDFW’s operations and services and help shape policy, budget and fee proposals. The department’s press release says it wants to strengthen relationships with “anglers, hungers, outdoor recreation groups and others interested in fish and wildlife in Washington.”

Let’s let them know what we think — in person and in writing.

They’re taking written comments through October on the department’s website and via email (WildFuture@dfw.wa.gov) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/WashingtonFishWildlife). Public meeting information is below.

There are so many issues, but here’s a start:

Please take a few minutes to let WDFW know what’s important to you when it comes to Washington wildlife, and if you can, attend one of these public meetings, all scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.:

Sept. 30: Center Place, 2426 N. Discovery Place, Spokane Valley

Oct. 6: WDFW Mill Creek Office, 16018 Mill Creek Blvd, Mill Creek

Oct. 8: Saint Martin’s University, Norman Worthington Conference Center, 5300 Pacific Ave SE, Lacey

Oct. 14: Water Resources Education Center, 4600 SE Columbia Way, Vancouver

Oct. 20: Port of Chelan County Confluence Technology Center, 285 Technology Center Way, Wenatchee

jim_unsworth_cropped_250pxEach meeting will include a brief presentation by a WDWF regional director, then participants will break into small groups to chat with department representatives. The department will summarize the comments and suggestions later this year.

Here’s a photo of WDFW Director Jim Unsworth, who started in January. He’s the one who’s making the effort to ask for feedback, which is commendable. Hi, Jim!

Cecil the Lion

Cecil the Lion, as he was known, was a lion who lived in Zimbabwe. You’ve probably seen the media storm and public outrage this week about his murder. A wealthy American paid to hunt down Cecil—at night, by luring him out of a preserve—and shoot him with a crossbow.

a lion similar to Cecil

It was nothing but a cowardly act by a small-minded trophy hunter, hell-bent on proving his sense of worth by killing others.

What I learned from the frenzy this week is that it pays to have a name. Cecil was a lion who’d been photographed by tourists for years (he was 12 or 13). He was GPS-collared and was part of an Oxford University study. But he was no different from many other lions that wealthy westerners (usually Americans) pay to kill. Six hundred lions are killed in trophy hunts every year, according to National Geographic.

Cecil sparked public outcry because he was well-known. In the same way we mourn for a celebrity’s death, but not the random people who also die.

For most people, the lion is a majestic creature. King of the jungle. We don’t associate them with food or clothing. That’s another thing Cecil had going for him. People around the world have issued hate mail and death threats to Cecil’s killer, and vigils and protests have sprung up at the man’s business.

Most of the people disgusted with Cecil’s death likely also eat and wear other animals. It’s a disconnect. Melanie Joy addresses this topic in-depth in her book, Why we Love Dogs, Eat pigs, and Wear Cows. This phenomenon (of loving some animals and eating others) she calls carnism. The book explains how people compartmentalize and justify this discrepancy.

It’s okay to mourn for Cecil. His death was a tragedy. His pride is in jeopardy, and his cubs will likely be killed by competing lions. But we need to also mourn for the millions of dogs and cats who are euthanized each year because they have no homes. And for the billions of farmed animals whose lives are brutal and short. They are all as precious as Cecil and as deserving of life.

We can’t stop evil people from hunting (although signing the petition to ask Zimbabwe to stop issuing hunting permits or the petition to include lions on the endangered species list would help). But we can adopt dogs and cats and never buy from breeders. And we can choose to not eat animals.

If you’re not already, please go vegan—for the countless animals just like Cecil, who are worthy of our admiration and who want to live.

Please support the Humane Cosmetics Act

The Humane Cosmetics Act–a bill that would end animal testing for cosmetics in the U.S.–has just been introduced in the House of Representatives! Ask your representative to co-sponsor this important legislation.

white rabbits

Animals in laboratories endure painful and deadly experiments to test cosmetics. The Humane Cosmetics Act (H.R. 2858) will make this a thing of the past by prohibiting animal testing for all cosmetic products manufactured or sold in the U.S.

Alternatives to animal testing already exist: Humane and safe cosmetics can be made using thousands of existing ingredients, and several non-animal safety tests are already available for new ingredients. These non-animal alternatives are often cheaper, faster, and more reliable.

More than 30 countries have phased out cosmetic animal testing, including Norway, Israel, India and every country in the European Union.

TAKE ACTION

Please make a brief, polite phone call to your U.S. Representative to urge support for H.R. 2858, the Humane Cosmetics Act. Look up your legislator’s phone number. You can say, “I’m a constituent and I urge you to co-sponsor the Humane Cosmetics Act, if you haven’t already done so. This bill would prohibit animal testing for cosmetics manufactured or sold in the U.S.”

After making your phone call (please do not skip that crucial step!), fill in and submit this form send a follow-up message.

"Sportman's Act": You Shall Not Pass

i Feb 10th No Comments by

One definition of the word “sport” is as follows:  “An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.  I will let you contemplate such things as baiting, blinds, beer, hunting accidents, night scopes, decoys, lures, hounds, high-powered rifles, crossbows,  camouflage AND MANY MORE as you mentally list the reasons hunting and trapping ARE NOT SPORTS.

In view of that…let’s shoot down the mis-named “Sportsman’s Act”. Once again, a small faction of wealthy trophy hunters is pressuring your elected officials to allow the importation of  — are you SERIOUS? — threatened polar bear trophies from Canada. They also want to open millions of acres of public lands to “sport” hunting and commercial trapping. And they want to do it without evaluating possible implications for animals, habitat and the opinions of Americans who enjoy our nation’s wild spaces without having to kill the inhabitants.  This bill would also permanently strip the Environmental Protection Agency of the authority to regulate lead shot and other ammunition under the Toxic Substances Control Act, and would add lead sinkers and other fishing gear to the existing exemptions. To add insult to injury, the bill would direct up to $10 million annually toward improving access to landlocked public lands, allocate a larger proportion of existing federal funding to building and maintaining shooting ranges on federal and non-federal lands, and require federal land managers to consider how their plans may impact hunting, fishing and recreational shooting.  Do I need to remind you of the suffering involved for animals left to die slowly of bad shots, for their families and children, for animals trapped for days in agony, whose only release is (maybe) the trapper and his dogs? Hunting and trapping are NOT sports. They are HORRORS.

Please, if you don’t already know who they are and how to get in touch with them, find your federal legislators here: https://secure.humanesociety.org/site/SPageServer/?pagename=electedOfficials_federal

and make a brief, polite phone call today to urge them to OPPOSE S. 405, the Sportsmen’s Act, and protect our wildlife and wildlands.  (I know you don’t FEEL polite. I don’t either. But let’s pull ourselves together.) Follow up with an email (links at the same site above).