Category: In the News

Disaster Relief in Japan: Animal Rescue & Vegan/Animal-Friendly Resources

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Last updated on 4/18/11 @ 11:15 AM CDT.

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1. Introduction / Choosing a Charity
2. Human-Centered Disaster Relief, Vegan & Non
3. Animal Rescue & Disaster Relief
4. Vegan Fundraisers
5. Armchair Activism
6. News & (Somewhat Vegan) Views
7. Newsletters & Dispatches

 

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Before and after the quake, Arahama in Sendai. This image shows one continuous landscape across the rectangle–at center, see the roadway sloping slightly upward from left to right across the black bar. In the original, dynamic version of this image, the black bar can be scrolled left and right across the landscape.
Credits: Google, ABC, GeoEye
Source: cnet.com
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It’s a startling picture of how dramatic and destructive Friday’s massive earthquake actually was.

The quake, which has upgraded to a magnitude 9.0 by the Japan Meteorological Agency, may have shifted the position of Earth’s axis about 6.5 inches, Richard Gross, a geophysicist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told the Los Angeles Times. The quake likely sped up the Earth’s rotation, shortening the day by 1.8 microseconds, Gross said. Also, the main island of Japan appears to have moved 8 feet, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey told CNN.

To help illustrate the damaging power of the quake and the ensuing tsunami, Google has compiled a collection of high-resolution before-and-after satellite images that depict the areas affected most by the devastation.

“We’re working to provide this data directly to response organizations on the ground to aid their efforts,” Ryan Falor, Google Crisis Response team, said in a Google Lat Long Blog post. “We hope this new updated satellite imagery is valuable for them as well as everyone else following this situation to help illustrate the extent of the damage.”

ABC News has created a presentation of the images, overlaying the before and after images for each specific area for a more immediate representation of the quake and tsunami’s devastating effects.

(Source: cnet.com)

(More below the fold…)

Vote, mofo’s, vote!

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Rock The Vote - Empower Yourself - Take Part In Democracy

An important reminder for all the lovely American mofo’ers out there: please, if you can, remember to vote today! No matter your age, race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender identity, religious beliefs or party affiliation, it’s your responsibility as a citizen to participate in the democratic process. Globally, many people are denied this right; and, for many U.S. citizens, voting is an only recently-won right. Even if you write in Dennis Kucinich or your bestest dog friend in every race, vote! Abstention is interpreted as apathy, not protest; only by voting will your voice be heard.

FYI: according to Wiki, the following states offer some form of same-day voter registration: Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Wyoming and Washington DC. If you live in any of these states but are not registered, show up at the polls anyhow, and register to vote on-site. If you’re not registered and thus not eligible to vote in this election cycle, register to vote today so that you’re prepared for the next election, “large” (national) or “small” (local).

Also, know your rights! Hit up the ACLU for a handy-dandy state-by-state guide to voting rights: http://www.aclu.org/voting-rights.

And your polling place! MoveOn.org has a polling place lookup (along with links to voting ID laws and contact info for legal help), but if you’d prefer something less partisan, Google Maps to the rescue!

Finally, a few personal pleas:

Arizona residents, please vote NO on PROP 109;
Arkansas residents, please vote NO on ISSUE NO. 1;
South Carolina residents, please vote NO on AMENDMENT 1;
Tennessee residents, please vote NO on CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 1.

All would establish fishing and hunting as constitutional “rights” in each state’s respective amendment. How fucked up is that?

Missouri residents, please vote YES on PROP B, which would improve conditions for some dogs enslaved in MO puppy mills. It’s far from perfect, but it’s an improvement.

North Dakota residents, please vote YES on MEASURE 2, which would make canned hunting illegal.

California residents, please vote YES on PROP 19, which would legalize marijuana in the state of CA.

For a full list of all 2010 ballot propositions, see Ballotpedia.

Is there something I’m forgetting? Tell us in the comments!

Please and thank you (and now back to our regularly scheduled VeganMoFo).

Updated to add: vegansaurus just published a pretty comprehensive, state-by-state ballot measure guide that you should totally check out! Also, if you happen to reside in CA, Marji’s Mina has a few suggestions for you, too.

(More below the fold…)

2010 Pakistan Floods: Animal Rescue & Vegan Relief Resources

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Last updated on 8/31/10 @ 12:00 PM CDT.

Got a tip, link, suggestion, etc. that you think I should incorporate into the list? Send it to me at easyvegan [at] gmail.com, or leave in it the comments section, and I’ll tackle it it asap. Please and thank you!
 

Pakistan floods

“Pakistan Floods: Displaced people fleeing Sindh streamed into Balochistan.”
CC image via the United Nations Development Programme on Flickr and is attributed to ©Abdul Majeed Goraya_IRIN.
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1. Animal Rescue & Vegan Relief at a Glance

Here’s a quick roundup of the animal welfare, animal rights, and vegan groups that are either 1) directly assisting with animal rescue efforts in Pakistan or 2) collecting and distributing funds to those that providing aid in the region. Please note that a number of these groups seem to focus on “saving” farmed and working animals so that they can be further exploited in the future – and let your own ethics guide you in your decision to donate.

  • Food for Life Global (FFLG), which distributes free vegan/vegetarian meals to those in need worldwide (among other things), is partnering with affiliates in Pakistan and India to

    mobiliz[e] teams to provide meals to survivors of the recent floods in Pakistan. [...] The Food for Life Pakistan Relief Team will focus on poor, minority groups who have lost their homes.

    Areas of focus include:

    Sindh Areas: Hyderabad, Khairpur, Sukkur, Gambt, Shikarpur, Larkana, Rato, Dero, Mirpur.

    Punjab Areas: Kand kut, Kambr, Karmpur, Gunspur, Gutki, Khan Garr, Khan Pur Mehr, Sultan Kut, Sehdad Kut.

    Food for Life Pakistan Relief Team will also try to collaborate with other NGOs, namely, the Swami Narayan Welfare Temple and Trust and the Pakistan Hindu Council.

    You can follow its progress here, or make a donation via the PayPal button on the main page of its website.

  • The Pakistan Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) is on the ground and aiding in animal rescue efforts. An 8/31 update reads:

    August 29, 2010: The Pakistan Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), in collaboration with the Karachi Animal Hospital, organized a relief mission to Thatta and Makli in Sindh to provide veterinary treatment to the flood’s animal victims. [...]

    Once at the EDO’s office, Zahid Hussain Jalbani, Site Manager WWF Makli, introduced us to Vickio Chohan, EDO Agriculture, Thatta, and Dr. Qaisar Jatoi, District Officer Livestock, Thatta. They inform us there are approximately 300,000 small and large animals around Makli for which there is an extreme shortage of fodder. The Ministry of Food and Agriculture estimates 3.6 million hectares of standing crops have been damaged or destroyed, and fodder for the animals has been either washed away or damaged by silt. With so much of farmland inundated by floodwaters, both people and animals have lost a vital source of food.

    After the updates by the local officials, we spent the rest of the day providing veterinary treatment to injured or sick buffaloes, cows, goats and other animals in the Thatta – Makli area. WWF arranged for two volunteers who led the way on a motorbike. People seemed pleased to see us and eagerly pointed out the injured or sick animals in their vicinity. They were extremely grateful to us for providing much needed veterinary relief to their animals, as they cannot afford to lose even one of them. A few even brought their dogs over for a checkup.

    You can follow PAWS’s progress on its blog, which is updated almost daily. Donation information is available here. PAWS has also compiled its own list of animal rescue groups working in the area.

  • The University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) Lahore has deployed a special animal rescue team, comprised of UVAS students and staff members, into flooded areas in order to help provide medical assistance to affected animals. You can learn more here.
  • The Sindh Rural Support Organization (SRSO) (through its Livestock Relief Project) is “providing support for the livestock in the flood affected zone by using its veterinary doctors fully equipped with medicines and necessary equipments,” as well as providing assistance to humans affected by the disaster. You can learn more via its daily flood relief reports.
  • With a presence in the area, the Pakistan chapter of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has been personally impacted by the flooding, with several offices under water. The group reports, “in these places [that have been flooded] we have suspended our regular work and are rescuing as many people as we possibly can.” You can follow events as they unfold here, or make a donation here.
  • The Brooke – a UK-based “international non-governmental organisation dedicated to improving the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules through direct veterinary treatment and community programmes around animal health and well-being” – is collecting funds to provide food, water and vaccinations to approximately 5,000 “working animals” in the area. You can learn more here, or make a donation here.
  • The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) reports that it is “is partnering with Vets Care Club, a group of veterinary students and staff from the University of Veterinary and Animal Science in Lahore to provide feed to cows, buffalos, goats and sheep in the Layyah District, Punjab. Your donation will be used to buy nutritionally-balanced feed for animals who will most likely otherwise starve as their owners cannot afford to buy them fodder. This region has 252 farmers with 4,458 animals.” You can make a (general?) donation here.
  • The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is currently “working with a local animal and humanitarian relief agency to feed starving animals. We are closely monitoring development to see how else we can help, and have reached out to other international animal aid organizations to see how we can best work together to help Pakistan’s animals.” You can track the IFAW’s progress on its Animal Rescue Blog, or make a general (?) donation here.
  • As of 8/9/10, Humane Society International (HSI) reports that it has “connected with WSPA and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to learn how we can best assist in responding to this crisis. We are reaching out to our local and government contacts in Pakistan, and will know more about our ability to help in the upcoming days.” You can make a general donation to its emergency response fund here.
  • Last but not least, Kinship Circle is providing information about animal rescue groups operating in the area. (See below for crossposted alerts.)
  • (More below the fold…)

    Call for Papers: Animal Rights in the Wake of Deepwater Horizon

    Monday, July 5th, 2010

    In-Memory-of-All-That-Is-Lost: An Oil Spill Cemetery in Grand Isle, Louisiana, on You Tube.

    The above video depicts an “oil spill cemetery” erected by Grand Isle, LA resident Patrick Shay in his front yard. The art installation/protest includes dozens of white crosses, each standing waist high and bearing the name of something (or someone) – an animal species, activity, item or foodstuff – that’s been impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil “spill.” The “deceased” include: the beach, sand, a walk on the beach, seagulls, diving, sharks, birdwatching, star gazing, shrimp, shrimp scampi, shrimp omelette, shrimp cocktail, shrimping, oyster boats, oyster Rocherfeller, summer fun, sandcastles, family time, frogs croaking, marsh, brown pelican, sea turtles, dolphins, redfish, crabbing, boiled crabs, stuffed crabs, fish fry, seafood gumbo, and our soul. Shots of individual crosses in the cemetery are interspersed with footage of the local beaches as they look now.

    More than any news coverage I’ve witnessed since (the cemetery was erected and reported on in early June), this graveyard embodies the disconnect between humans’ expressed empathy for the nonhuman victims of the oil spill – and our actions toward them, before, during and (no doubt) after the Gulf disaster. For example, the inclusion of “food” animals in the cemetery is rather ironic; had they not perished or become otherwise “polluted” in the oil spill, “crabbers” and “fishermen” would have slaughtered these same shrimps, redfishes and crabs (etc.) by the millions. Absent the oil spill, these animals would have died anyway; Shay’s (et al.’s) tears are not for these animals themselves, but for the many products borne of their exploitation: seafood gumbo, oyster Rocherfeller and stuffed crabs. As someone who considers all animals equally worthy of consideration, I simply cannot join Mr. Shay in mourning a “way of life” that’s predicated upon taking the actual lives of others. Whether stolen by megacorp BP or by working-class fishermen, these mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters and sons will never get their lives back.

    Although I continue to follow the Deepwater disaster with a mix of horror, anger and grief, my empathy rests with the disaster’s (and the kyriarchy’s) perpetual victims – in this case, the millions of nonhuman animals to whom the Gulf Coast is home. The rest of us? We’re all complicit in this tragedy – and the billions of smaller, mostly-invisible tragedies that take place every single day – to varying degrees.

    While many of vegans no doubt share similar feelings, our perspective is virtually nonexistent in mainstream coverage of the oil spill and its fallout. And so I was terribly excited to see the following call for papers posted on the NILAS mailing list. Crude Behavior: Animal Rights in the Wake of Deepwater Horizon will examine the oil spill, its short- and long-term effects, and public discourse surrounding these from an animal welfare/rights perspective. (I’m inclined to scream “Finally!,” but – doesn’t it seem a bit soon to be dissecting a disaster that’s still ongoing? Wev, I’ll scoop up a copy regardless of when it’s released.) Abstracts are due August 1st.

    For more on the Deepwater Horizon disaster, please see BP Oil “Spill”: Animal Rescue, Disaster Relief, Action Alerts & Vegan Views, also at easyvegan.info.

    (More below the fold…)

    BP Oil "Spill": Animal Rescue, Disaster Relief, Action Alerts & Vegan Views

    Thursday, May 13th, 2010

    Last updated 4/20/11 @ 11:00 AM CDT.


     
     
    As with the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, I’ve decided to create a single blog post which will act as a sort of “hub” where I’ll post information, action alerts, newsletters, etc. related to the recent BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Given that President Obama intends to push forward with previously announced plans to expand offshore drilling, there’s a special emphasis on action alerts that address fossil fuels and/or their place in proposed climate change legislation. Where appropriate, I’ve also included information on what you can do to help meet immediate disaster relief needs in the Gulf Coast region.
     
    (More below the fold…)

    Earthquake in Chile: Some 700,000 Animals May Be Affected

    Saturday, March 6th, 2010

    Last updated 7/5/10 @ 8:20 PM CDT

    While the recent earthquake (and resulting tsunami) in Chile has received less coverage – at least in regards to subsequent relief efforts – than that in Haiti, I was able to find some information on animal-friendly organizations that are providing help with disaster relief. Please feel free to share any additional information in the comments!

    1. Vegan Bake Sales for Chile: As of this writing, I can’t find a post dedicated specifically to vegan bake sales to benefit Chilean quake survivors on the PPK blog, however, a search of the forums does bring up a few relevant threads. Head on over to the PPK to organize and announce your own bake sale for Chile!

    2. Food for Life Global is on the ground in Chile, providing vegan and/or vegetarian meals to quake survivors:

    BBC, Feb 28 — The death toll from Chile’s earthquake has more than doubled to 708 and is expected to rise further, President Michelle Bachelet has said. Previously about 300 people were estimated to have been killed in Saturday’s 8.8 magnitude quake – one of the most powerful recorded. Massive damage is hampering rescue teams as they struggle to reach those still buried in the rubble.

    Food for Life emergency relief teams in the area are mobilizing to provide help. Donate now!

    3. In Defense of Animals (IDA) reported on 3/18/10 that it will be sending aid to Chile:

    On February 27, Chile experienced a magnitude 8.8 earthquake, followed by two tsunamis and several weeks of aftershocks.

    IDA has already committed $5,000 to Socorro Animal Chile, SACH (Animal Relief Chile), a coalition of Chilean animal protection organizations. SACH sends three veterinarian-led teams into the field daily. We would like to send SACH even more assistance, as the need is enormous. Please help IDA continue to respond to natural disasters by contributing to our Disaster Relief Fund.

    Funds IDA raises to help animals in Chile will be used to provide:

    * Emergency sheltering for rescued animals
    * Search and rescue efforts
    * In-field sustenance (food/water program)
    * Animal transport
    * Temporary clinics to treat animals
    * Support for spay/neuter and adoption programs

    4. Finally, Kinship Circle has proven an excellent source of information on animal rescue and disaster relief efforts in Chile. All related Kinship Circle alerts are crossposted below. I’ve added additional links where necessary; the most recent alerts appear first, followed by earlier ones. You can also view a photo log of Kinship Circle’s rescue efforts in Chile on Flickr, @ KCChile.

    (More below the fold…)

    Kinship Circle: Cobb County (Marietta, Georgia) Dogs Need Rescue

    Saturday, September 26th, 2009

    Below you will find the second of two action alerts from Kinship Circle, detailing disaster relief needs in the Southeastern U.S., which is currently drying out from recent flooding (and preparing for another bout of heavy rains, to boot). This particular alert focuses on Cobb County Animal Control in Marietta, Georgia, which is inundated with animals. Even if you cannot foster or adopt a dog – or make a monetary donation to help with rescue expenses – please spread the word.

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: Kinship Circle – info [at] kinshipcircle.org
    Date: Fri, Sep 25, 2009 at 1:16 PM
    Subject: Soaked SE – Cobb County Dogs Need Rescue

    KINSHIP CIRCLE ANIMAL DISASTER AID NETWORK

    http://www.kinshipcircle.org/disasters/

    9/25/09: Soaked Southeast – Cobb County Dogs Need Rescue
    Below is more information regarding COBB COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL in flood-hit Marietta, Georgia. Did you get yesterday’s (9/24/09) overview of animal needs in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi?

    ASK FOR 9/24/09 FLOOD ALERT: info [at] kinshipcircle.org
    9/24/09: Animal Flood Recovery In Soaked Southeast

    [Kelly's note: The alert is also available on easyVegan.info, here.]

    ======================

    GEORGIA: Cobb County Animal Control
    1060 Al Bishop Drive / Marietta, Georgia 30008
    ph: 770-499-4136; fax: 770-590-5620
    Cpt. Jeff Patellis, Dept of Public Safety: 770-590-5602

    http://animalcontrol.cobbcountyga.gov/

    SUMMARY 9/24/09: From Janice Riccio, Quietzsch [at] aol.com –
    Due to the massive flooding in the Atlanta area, and specifically Cobb County, many people displaced by floodwaters left their pets with Cobb County Animal Control. The shelter was slammed before the floods, so they had no room to house newcomers. They were desperate to find rescue for dogs already housed there or face euthanasia…

    I’ve taken in 9 dogs and have no place to house them, other then boarding at two vet offices. This is very temporary, and although the vets have generously boarded the dogs at a discount, this will add up quickly — not to mention the other costs for rabies vaccines, altering, etc.

    SEND MONETARY DONATIONS TO:
    Call vet offices directly to make donations for flood-affected dogs (shown below).
    * Averill Animal Hospital / 415 Villa Rica Way / Marietta, GA 30064 / 770-422-2402
    * Etowah Veterinary Hospital / 4953 Canton Road / Marietta, GA 30066 / 770-926-8888

    IF YOU CAN FOSTER – ADOPT – RESCUE, CONTACT:
    Janice Riccio, Quietzsch [at] aol.com

    (More below the fold…)

    Kinship Circle: Animal Flood Recovery In Soaked Southeast

    Saturday, September 26th, 2009

    This is the first of two Kinship Circle alerts outlining animal-related rescue needs in the recently-flooded Southeastern U.S. In addition to the organizations listed below, CNN has a list of resources on its Impact Your World page; naturally, all of these focus on human needs, and many are religious in nature. If you’d like to suggest any animal rescue and/or secular groups, please do so in the comments!

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: Kinship Circle – info [at] kinshipcircle.org
    Date: Thu, Sep 24, 2009 at 2:58 PM
    Subject: Animal Flood Recovery In Soaked Southeast

    KINSHIP CIRCLE ANIMAL DISASTER AID NETWORK

    http://www.kinshipcircle.org/disasters/

    9/24/09: Animal Flood Recovery In Soaked Southeast

    1. TENNESSEE: East Ridge Animal Services – DOGS NEED HELP NOW
    2. GEORGIA: Georgia SPCA, GEMA, Barrow, Cobb County AC
    3. ALABAMA: Various shelters in affected areas
    4. MISSISSIPPI: Various shelters in affected areas

    As of Monday, 9/21/09, Kinship Circle has monitored floods across the Southeast U.S., in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, Kentucky and Mississippi. Our small volunteer staff has contacted various agencies on the ground to offer support from our network of independently trained responders. There has been no direct call (as of 9/24/09) for out-of-state volunteers, but rescuers are needed to pull from flood-overcrowded shelters.

    Rivers crested above flood levels in stricken areas, but most waters are receding. Below is a brief report. We’ll update you if circumstances change.

    Kinship Circle - 2009-09-24 - Animal Flood Recovery In Soaked Southeast 01

    Fran Alexay of West Creek Stables in Austell moves a Welsh Pony to a trailer. She helped move 15 horses to Conyers Horse Park. Photo: John Spink.

    http://projects.ajc.com.coxnewsweb.com/gallery/view/metro/ajc-photo-stories092209/

    (More below the fold…)

    Like livestock, but fuckable.

    Friday, August 7th, 2009

    Update, 9/1/09: Guest posting at Sociological Images, Anglofille offers an excellent discussion of George Sodoni’s misogyny – and of the media’s negligence in its coverage of the crime, which more often than not includes a hefty dose of victim-blaming.

    ——————-

    Freschello (Cow)

    I had planned on including this in my next intersectionality link roundup, but I’d rather this post be timely than in context. Besides, if you need additional context – here ya go.

    New York Post: Full Text of “Gym Killer’s” Blog

    Yes, I actually suffered through this misogynist’s entire blog. Blame CNN; one of their journalists piqued my curiosity by quoting from the following excerpt:

    Why do this?? To young girls? Just read below. I kept a running log that includes my thoughts and actions, after I saw this project was going to drag on.

    December 22, 2008:

    Time is moving along. Planned to have this done already. I will just keep a running log here as time passes. Many of the young girls here look so beautiful as to not be human, very edible.

    George Sodini, consumer of women.* Note how the women go from being not human (read: nonhuman animal) to not alive (read: “meat” -> or an non-sentient object). He reads much like any “good” fast food commercial!

    Elsewhere – in the context of an extremely racist rant, which begins with him postponing his “project” in order to “see the election outcome” – Sodini says, and I’m paraphrasing, that every “brother” ought to “get” his own “white hoe” as a sort of “reverse indentured servitude thing”: “Long ago, many a older white male landowner had a young Negro wench girl for his desires. Bout’ time tables are turned on that shit.”

    Actually, a truly “reverse indentured servitude thing” – the very term “indentured servant” is misleading when it’s clear that what he’s really referring to is slavery – would see white men relegated to property status, and distributed among women of color (and, more generally, men of color and all women).

    As a commenter at the Reclusive Leftist notes,

    The murderer suggested offering black men white women as sex slaves as a way of compensating for the fact that white men used to rape black women slaves.

    Who was wronged by white men raping black women slaves? The black women slaves? No! Black men of course!

    Who should be compensated today for black women slaves having been abused in the past? Black women? No! Black men of course!

    To Sodoni, women were nothing but objects to be consumed – or bought, sold, traded or borrowed, for example, to repay a “debt” incurred by one’s past “wrongdoings.” We are but chattel, livestock, property – servants and slaves. Our violation does not harm us – for how can an object experience suffering? – but rather, our owners: men.

    Replace “women” with “animals,” and you’ve summarized the popular view re: nonhuman animals. Hopefully, you’re just as appalled.

    (More below the fold…)

    Woman bites dog.

    Thursday, May 14th, 2009

     



     
    Dear WABC Reporter,

    Do you honestly not see the irony in using a speciesist phrase like “dog eat dog” to introduce a heartwarming story that, in fact, demonstrates the exact opposite: that canines are complex animals who display a range of emotions and behaviors, including altruism, selflessness, bravery, friendship and love? “Dog is eat” is a prejudiced and hateful term that should be abolished from the human lexicon. Should you find yourself in need of an appropriate substitute, “human eat human,” “human eat dog,” or “human eats everything” may all suffice.

    And also, re: your censorship of the injured dog – really? Methinks that the “food” on 99.9% of your viewers’ dinner plates was more gruesome, offensive and disturbing than the remote sight of a broken and bloodied* – but ultimately rescued – dog. There is no such redemption for the eight (give or take; no one knows for sure) murdered, dismembered, ground and processed cows in a “beef patty,” for example.

    Otherwise, a beautiful piece.

    Regards,

    - A grumpy vegan and adopted mom to six furkids

    * I first spotted this story on AC 360, where the sight of the injured dog was not blurred from sight. It was upsetting, but again, much less so than, say, the sight of a butcher carving up an animal corpse, which any man, woman or child can take in at more than a few grocery stores.

    (More below the fold…)

    Liberation BC & PCRM: Vegan Diet Doesn’t Cause Birth Defects

    Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

    Sigh. Almost two years after “vegan” parents Lamont Thomas and Jade Sanders were convicted of involuntary manslaughter for starving their son, Crown Shakur, to death (hence Nina Planck’s oh-so-clever – and, not to mention, compassionate – “Death by Veganism” column title), non-vegans *still* refer to this case as proof that vegan diets are inherently unhealthy and unsuitable for infants and children. (And, in more extreme cases, that vegan diets constitute child abuse and warrant state intervention.) Even though, as I explain at over at Bitch, these “death by veganism” cases could be more accurately described as “death by starvation.” With proper knowledge and planning, vegan diets are actually healthier than diets which involve animals and animal by-products. For infants, breast milk and soy formula – rather than the soy milk and apple juice Crown Shakur received – are part of a healthy vegan diet.

    Anyhow, cue the latest bit of anti-vegan scare-mongering: “Vegan diet tied to birth defects,” which PCRM and Liberation BC critique below. Please consider contacting the newspapers that ran the story, and politely correct their shoddy science “reporting.”

    Mary Martin at Animal Person also offers an interesting deconstruction of PCRM’s press release from a radical vegan perspective. I’m embarassed to say that I didn’t pick up on PCRM’s odd choice of wording at first!

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: Liberation BC
    Date: Mon, Mar 2, 2009 at 4:10 PM
    Subject: Vegan Diet Doesn’t Cause Birth Defects

    Liberation BC has had a few people write to us asking about an article in several newspapers, “Vegan diet tied to birth defects”, so we thought we’d send out an Action Alert with a little more information.

    The article claims that a study shows that “…vegans and women who eat little or no meat, fish, eggs, milk or cheese are at the highest risk, as well as women with stomach or intestinal problems…that keep them from absorbing enough B12.”

    The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has issued a press release in response, stating that what the article doesn’t mention is that “…the study is based on analysis of stored blood samples originally collected during pregnancy from three groups of Irish women between 1983 and 1990. It’s not clear if any of the women were vegan, but the study clearly states that this population was deliberately chosen because vitamin supplementation and food fortification were rare at that time. The women lived in a region of traditionally high neural tube defects prevalence, suggesting a moderately high genetic predisposition.” (Doctors endorse vegan and vegetarian diets for healthy pregnancies, 2 Mar 2009)

    Of course, it is absolutely true that everyone needs to get B12. It is the only vitamin or mineral that one cannot get on a totally vegan diet. An incredibly small amount of it is necessary–less than 10 micrograms a day–and yet it is so important that without it, we can become very ill indeed. Fortunately, however, it is also a very easy vitamin to get.

    It is also worth noting that the experts wholly endorse a vegan diet. The Dieticians of Canada and the American Dietetic Association have stated that:

    “Well-planned vegan diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy and lactation. Appropriately planned vegan diets satisfy nutrient needs of infants, children, and adolescents and promote normal growth.”

    (More below the fold…)

    NEAVS: Tune in to ABC-TV Nightline tonight

    Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

    Via the New England Anti-Vivisection Society (NEAVS) / Project R&R:

    BREAKING STORY: Tune in to ABC-TV Nightline tonight

    Please tune in to Nightline tonight (Wed. 03/04 11:30pm EST). This evening’s broadcast* features an expose of the New Iberia Research Center (NIRC). The 9 month undercover investigation of NIRC brings the sad realities of a chimpanzee’s life in a lab to millions of viewers. We ask you to not miss this rare opportunity to see the truth. Please invite your friends and family to watch.

    Go to the ABC News website to see a preview and to post a comment.

    Please watch your email for a follow up eAlert with timely campaign news.

    Thank you for your support and attention.

    *News segment schedules are subject to change. Visit Nightline for more information and local listings.

    As of this writing, Nightline has several clips of the show available on its website; unfortunately, embedding is disabled, so you’ll have to go to Nightline’s website in order to view the videos.

    Even if you don’t tune in, be sure to drop them a quick note of appreciation for covering the story!

    UPDATE, 3/4/09: Stephanie, who clearly did more research than I (sorry, I usually can’t bring myself to watch these undercover investigations, *sigh*), has a lengthier writeup here.

    (More below the fold…)

    Attn: MSM

    Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

    Dear members of the mainstream news media,

    Many of you are reporting that the death toll in the recent Australian wildfires now hovers around 200, with numbers likely to rise.

    Take, for example, the following headlines:

    Australia fire deaths rise to 200 (BBC News)

    Australia wildfire death toll reaches 200 (the AP)

    Talk Vic toll may reach 300 ‘a rumour’ (Sydney Morning Herald)

    News flash: the “death toll” has already surpassed 200, at least 5,000 times over.

    To wit: “Millions of animals are estimated to have died in the ferocious Black Saturday bushfires that swept across countryside, towns and farmland in Australia’s southeast.”
     


     
    Millions of animals – men, women, children, chickens, canaries, koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, possums, deer, dogs, cats, horses, ducks, peacocks, lyrebirds, goats and dingoes, to name just a few of the affected species – have died. The death toll is catastrophic; the loss of life, tragic.

    Please don’t imply that some of these lives are insignificant by excluding them from your discourse. If you mean that 200 human lives have been lost, say so. Your sloppy/lazy/negligent reporting and/or headline copyrighting does a disservice to the majority of the fire’s victims – and to those who care for their well-being.

    Regards,

    The veg*n language police

    —————–

    Tagged:

    Kinship Circle: New Day For Animals? Ban On Dog Racing, Prop 2 Passes…

    Thursday, November 6th, 2008

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
    Date: Wed, Nov 5, 2008 at 1:41 PM
    Subject: New Day For Animals? Ban On Dog Racing, Prop 2 Passes…

    KINSHIP CIRCLE ANIMAL DISASTER AID NETWORK

    ANIMAL PROTECTION LEGISLATION
    11/5/08: A New Day For Animals? Dog Racing Ban, Prop 2 Passes…

    2008-11-04 - Kinship Circle - Dog Racing Ban

    Massachusetts: Dog Racing Ban Phased In By 2010

    November 4, 2008: One vote went to the dogs, literally, as Massachusetts citizens voted yes on Question 3, approving The Greyhound Protection Act.

    The majority vote of “yes” on Ballot Question 3 in Massachusetts means that greyhound racing will be banned. The existing dog racing tracks in Massachusetts will be ordered to shut down by January 1, 2010, as commercial dog racing is slowly “phased out” in the Baystate. Massachusetts Ballot Question 3 passed, with 56% voting “yes” on Question 3, and 44% voting “no.” A majority vote was required to pass The Greyhound Protection Act….

    California: Prop 2 Passes!

    2008-11-04 - Kinship Circle - Prop 2 Passes!

    LT PHOTO: http://www.yesonprop2.com/

    2008-11-04 - Kinship Circle - Prop 2 Passes! 02

    RT PHOTO: Sent by KC member Barb Dunsmore

    FROM FARM SANCTUARY: In a historic victory, California voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 2, a landmark measure that bans factory farming confinement systems — battery cages, veal crates and gestation crates — in the state by 2015. By a vote of more than 60%, Californians sent a clear message to big agribusiness that cruelty to animals is unacceptable…

    FROM KINSHIP CIRCLE: The California Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act passed in the largest agricultural state in the U.S., particularly for egg-laying hens. Some feel this ban on the most egregious cruelty doesn’t go far enough, as animals remain unable to be themselves in a natural setting…and are still drugged, mishandled, slaughtered, and consumed.

    But clearly — the issue of how animals become meals has entered mainstream consciousness. Of equal importance: The people have a voice. Despite the millions agribusiness lobbyists spent on overturning this initiative, it passed. The ballot initiative system, fueled by grassroots stamina, worked.

    (More below the fold…)

    More human than (the) human(s).

    Monday, October 20th, 2008

    In The New York Times, “Farm Boy” Nicholas Kristof “Reflects” on time spent murdering innocent, sentient beings:

    Then there were the geese, the most admirable creatures I’ve ever met. We raised Chinese white geese, a common breed, and they have distinctive personalities. They mate for life and adhere to family values that would shame most of those who dine on them.

    While one of our geese was sitting on her eggs, her gander would go out foraging for food—and if he found some delicacy, he would rush back to give it to his mate. Sometimes I would offer males a dish of corn to fatten them up—but it was impossible, for they would take it all home to their true loves.

    Once a month or so, we would slaughter the geese. When I was 10 years old, my job was to lock the geese in the barn and then rush and grab one. Then I would take it out and hold it by its wings on the chopping block while my Dad or someone else swung the ax.

    The 150 geese knew that something dreadful was happening and would cower in a far corner of the barn, and run away in terror as I approached. Then I would grab one and carry it away as it screeched and struggled in my arms.

    Very often, one goose would bravely step away from the panicked flock and walk tremulously toward me. It would be the mate of the one I had caught, male or female, and it would step right up to me, protesting pitifully. It would be frightened out of its wits, but still determined to stand with and comfort its lover.

    He goes on to say,

    So, yes, I eat meat (even, hesitantly, goose). But I draw the line at animals being raised in cruel conditions.

    How very generous of you, Mr. Kristof.

    (More below the fold…)

    She shoots puppies, doesn’t she?

    Saturday, October 11th, 2008

    Writer-slash-environmentalist Nick Jans gives us an Alaskan’s view of Sarah Palin and her run for the White House.

    It’s a great piece – really, I could excerpt the whole damn thing – but this piece in particular is worth noting:

    Palin pushed hard, along with sport hunting and guiding interests, to help defeat a ballot initiative that would have stopped the state’s current aerial wolf control program, which had been criticized by the National Academy of Sciences and the National Research Council for flawed science. Now her administration has pointedly refused to respond to repeated public information requests (I’m one of the petitioners, and a potential litigant), regarding the apparently illegal killing of 14 wolf pups at their dens on the Alaska Peninsula this spring by state personnel, including two high-level Department of Fish and Game administrators. A biologist at the scene admitted to an independent wolf scientist that the 6-week-old pups were held down and shot in the head, one by one. This inhumane practice, known as “denning,” has been illegal for 40 years. But a simple request for information on the details of this operation, including to what extent the governor was involved in the decision, has resulted in a typical Palinesque roadblock and a string of untruths.

    Sarah Palin, “my friends,” is a “pro-life,” God-fearing evangelical. And yet (according to her and hers), it’s atheists like moi who lack morals.

    Anyway, Jans explains how Palin can claim to be a genuine Alaskan while simultaneously working to destroy the land she calls home, vis-à-vis her policy of pillaging the environment, to hell with the consequences:

    In the broadest sense, Palin is a poseur. Alaska is too large and culturally diverse (it’s only a bit smaller than the entire lower 48 east of the Mississippi, and once was divided into four time zones) to be summed up by some abstract, romanticized notion. And even if it could be, it sure wouldn’t be symbolized by Palin. “The typical Alaskan? She couldn’t be farther from it,” says Alaska House Minority Leader Beth Kertulla.

    Still, Palin is a genuine Alaskan — of a kind. The kind that flowed north in the wake of the ’70s oil boom, Bible Belt politics and attitudes under arm, and transformed this state from a free-thinking, independent bastion of genuine libertarianism and individuality into a reactionary fundamentalist enclave with dollar signs in its eyes and an all-for-me mentality.

    Palin’s Alaska is embodied in Wasilla, a blue-collar, sharp-elbowed town of burgeoning big box stores, suburban subdivisions, evangelical pocket churches and car dealerships morphing across the landscape, outward from Anchorage, the state’s urban epicenter. She has lived in Wasilla practically all her life, and even now resides there, the first Alaska executive to eschew the white-pillared mansion in Juneau, down on the Southeast Panhandle.

    Go read the whole thing.

    Note to the rest of the Salon staff: this is a perfect example of how to criticize a female politician without resorting to misogyny and sexist slurs. It’s the policies, stupid! (As opposed to, you know, the vag-n-mams.)

    (Crossposted from.)

    ———————–

    Tagged:

    Slaughterhouse Rescues Find Sanctuary at California Shelters

    Monday, May 5th, 2008

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: Natalie Bowman
    Date: Mon, May 5, 2008 at 4:14 PM
    Subject: Slaughterhouse Rescues Find Sanctuary at California Shelters

    Hi Kelly,

    Farm Sanctuary and Animal Place, a nonprofit sanctuary for farm animals, are now coming to the aid of 14 animals seized from a Watsonville, Calif. slaughterhouse- whose owner is now being charged with cruelty and investigated by the state Department of Agriculture.

    I have included a press release below with further details, in case you are interested in posting on the story.

    Warm regards,

    Natalie Bowman
    Communications Manager
    Farm Sanctuary
    P.O. Box 150, Watkins Glen, NY 14891
    PH: 607-583-2225 ext. 250

    http://www.farmsanctuary.org

    P.S. Farm Sanctuary has just offered refuge to six more goats from the slaughterhouse, including two new mothers and their twin kids.

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:

    Natalie Bowman, Farm Sanctuary, 607-583-2225 ext. 250, nbowman [at] farmsanctuary.org Marji Beach, Animal Place, 707-449-4814, marji [at] animalplace.org

    Animals Confiscated from Slaughterhouse Find Refuge at California Sanctuaries

    Farm Sanctuary and Animal Place Shelter Neglected, Sick and Injured Animals from Watsonville Abattoir

    Orland, CA and Vacaville, CA – May 5, 2008 – Farm Sanctuary, which operates the largest rescue and refuge network for farm animals in North America, and Animal Place, a nonprofit sanctuary for abused and discarded farmed animals, have responded to a call from Santa Cruz Animal Services and are coming to the aid of 14 neglected animals confiscated from a Watsonville, Calif. slaughterhouse on Thursday, May 1.

    The rescued animals-12 goats, one cow and one sheep-were discovered at the Lee Road slaughter facility on Thursday, May 1 by Todd Stosuy of Santa Cruz Animal Services, when he noticed a cow with a bloody horn from the road and initiated an investigation. Stosuy said that in addition to the injured cow, he found 12 very ill, malnourished goats with overgrown, rotted hoofs, as well as several other animals who would have perished if he had not intervened. Upon returning to the facility on Saturday, May 3, Stosuy seized eight more goats and another sheep whose health had deteriorated since his last visit; the sanctuaries and Animal Services are arranging placement of these animals. According to Stosuy, all of the rescued animals were either acquired by the owner at auction or raised on the property and were to be hand-picked by and slaughtered for local customers.

    (More below the fold…)

    I’d rather be an elitist than a sadist.*

    Monday, April 14th, 2008

    One of my least favorite things about presidential elections – aside from the bitter partisanship, the misogyny and racism, the fear of additional conservative Supreme Court Justices, and the loss of my very personhood, of course – is all the dogdamn pandering to the redneck hunting lobby. (C’mon, like anyone took this seriously. Pffft!)

    This cycle, it’s Hillary who’s selling out her humanity for the “sportsmen’s” murderer’s vote. Clinton’s comments of this morning, made in response to Obama’s comments of April 6, are what set me off, but in searching for the exact quote on teh internets, I found quite a few references to her Duck Hunter days. (See, I can condemn the misogyny directed at Hillary without blindly throwing her my vagina vote. Nay, nay, nay boiz!)

    Here’s Clinton on February 18:

    “I’ve hunted. My father taught me how to shoot,” she told a crowd at the Labor Temple in rural northern Wisconsin. “I remember standing in the cold water. It was so cold, you know, at first light. I was with a bunch of my friends, all men.

    “And they all were playing a trick on me, and said, ‘We’re not going to shoot, you shoot,’ ’cause you know what they wanted to do. They wanted to embarrass me.

    “So the pressure was on. So I shot, and I shot a banded duck.”

    Awww! Isn’t that special. I think I’ll vote for her, because she’s snuffed out at least one life in the name of sport. She’ll be perfect to take over the war in Iraq!

    (More below the fold…)

    Born Free USA: Victory for Lynx / Our New Blog

    Monday, April 7th, 2008

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: Born Free USA Newsletters – donotreply [at] apiforanimals.org
    Date: Fri, Apr 4, 2008 at 4:37 PM
    Subject: Victory for Lynx / Our New Blog

    Alerts at a Glance:

    * Court Rules in Favor of Threatened Lynx — Judge says MN Trapping Program Violates ESA
    - Fantastic News! This week’s ruling by a federal judge orders MN to ensure that no further lynx are captured by trapping activities within core lynx habitat.

    * We’ve Launched a New Blog!
    - Be sure to check out our blog for regular, incisive, up-to-the-minute commentary on issues affecting wild animals in need, both in the USA and around the world.

    * Help Us Help Animals
    ** Make a Donation: Please consider a contribution in support of our 2008 campaigns and programs. Your gift will help us make a difference for countless animals this year.

    (More below the fold…)

    DawnWatch: Animal slaughter art exhibit closes under peaceful protest, then threats — SF Chronicle 3/30/08

    Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

    Previous IDA alerts here and here.

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: DawnWatch – news [at] dawnwatch.com
    Date: Tue, Apr 1, 2008 at 1:28 AM
    Subject: DawnWatch: Animal slaughter art exhibit closes under peaceful protest, then threats — SF Chronicle 3/30/08

    Last week, a San Francisco art exhibition that included animal cruelty was in the news. This Sunday’s San Francisco Chronicle, March 30, included a lead article (by Ilana DeBare, pg B1) headed, “Art Institute halts exhibition showing killing of animals; Workers threatened; video unclear about why deaths filmed.”

    The article opens:

    “Citing threats of violence by animal rights activists, the San Francisco Art Institute said Saturday that it is canceling a controversial exhibition that included video clips of animals being bludgeoned to death, as well as a public forum it had scheduled to address the controversy.

    “”We’ve gotten dozens of threatening phone calls that targeted specific staff people with death threats, threats of violence and threats of sexual assaults,’ said Art Institute President Chris Bratton. ‘We remain committed to freedom of speech as fundamental to this institution, but we have to take people’s safety very seriously.’

    “The exhibit that sparked the controversy was a one-person show by Paris artist Adel Abdessemed called ‘Don’t Trust Me,’ which opened March 19.

    “Along with a variety of other elements, the show included a series of video loops of animals being bludgeoned to death with a sledgehammer in front of a brick wall. The animals killed included a pig, goat, deer, ox, horse and sheep.”

    While the headline and opening lines of the article suggest that the exhibition was removed only because of threats of violence, further on we read:

    “Abdessemed’s show, one of about a dozen public exhibitions that the 650-student school hosts each year, had opened fairly quietly. But as word spread among animal rights groups, more than 8,000 people sent e-mails to the institute slamming the show. Institute officials temporarily closed the show Wednesday and scheduled a public forum for Monday.

    “But then the tone of some of the e-mails turned violent, Bratton said, with threats against individual staff members, such as, ‘We’re going to gather up your children and bludgeon their heads.’ Officials decided to shutter the exhibition permanently, the first time in the institute’s 137-year history that a show was closed for safety reasons. They also canceled the forum.

    “”Some of the people who said the most threatening things said they would be present at the forum,’ Bratton said.”

    (More below the fold…)