Banned Books Week starts today!

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

banned books week - 0005

 

Don’t pay attention to the flier – Banned Books Week starts today and runs through October 6th this year! I used an older graphic because, hello!, His Dark Materials. MY FAVORITE!

From the ALA’s website:

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. Check out the frequently challenged books section to explore the issues and controversies around book challenges and book banning.

Banned Books Week 2012 marks its 30th anniversary (see timeline). Thousands of individuals and institutions across the United States participate in Banned Books Week each year, and it has grown into a premier literary event and a national awareness and advocacy campaign around censorship. In honor of the 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week, the Office for Intellectual Freedom delivers the 50 State Salute to Banned Books Week in coordination with ALA Chapters. The 50 State Salute consists of videos on how each state celebrates the freedom to read. For more information on how your organization can participate, please visit the 50 State Salute page. And for the second year in a row, we are cosponsoring the Banned Books Virtual Read-Out, where readers can declare their freedom to read by uploading videos of themselves reading from their favorite banned/challenged books. The critieria and video submission information has been updated. Please check out the Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out page for more information.

The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools. While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.

Don’t be shy, people! Take a quick (no more than two minutes) video of you or your BFF reading from your favorite banned or challenged book to be a part of the virtual read-out.

I’ll show you my book pile if you show me yours.

Vegan Pizza Takes Over the World!

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

Vegan Pizza Takes Over the World

 
What follows is the most delicious action alert I’ve ever received from In Defense of Animals. In honor of World Go Vegan Week, IDA and Daiya want to team up with you (yeah, you!) to spread the cheesy vegan pizza love! Help persuade your local pizzeria to offer a vegan pie for World Go Vegan Week … and beyond! (Vegan Pizza Day is just a few months later, yo!) All the vegan pizza will be ours! Muahahaha!

By the by, Vegan Pizza Takes Over the World? NEEDS TO BE A COOKBOOK LIKE NOW! Make it happen, crafty chef peoples!
 

Vegan Cheese (Portland, Oregon)

 
World Go Vegan Week Begins October 24, 2011

Vegan Pizza Takes Over the World!

World Go Vegan Week (October 24 – 31) is a celebration of compassion, and a time to take action for animals, the environment, world hunger, and everyone’s well-being. This year is going to be extra special … and extra cheesy! We want to help make it even easier to be vegan, and what better way than being able to order a quick and easy pizza – with delicious vegan Daiya cheese.

You can help with just a few minutes of your time by reaching out to your local pizzeria and asking them to offer a vegan pizza. Our goal is to make eating vegan simple, fun, and accessible to every community. One of the best aspects of restaurant outreach is that a single person can make a direct and lasting difference for animals.

What you can do:

Please contact your local pizza shop and ask them to offer a vegan pizza for the week of World Go Vegan Week. Our partners at Daiya cheese have offered to provide a free sample of Daiya cheese for the pizza shop to try. Daiya cheese melts, stretches, and tastes just like traditional dairy-based cheese.

We will provide you with a letter and tips on how to approach the pizzerias. Remember, all it takes is one person to make a major difference in changing everyday restaurants into vegan-friendly havens.

To be part of spreading the vegan pizza love in your community, contact Hope Bohanec: hope@idausa.org 415-448-0058 or 707-540-1760.

Vegan pizza outreach not your cup of tea? There are many other ways to celebrate with us! Click here for other ideas to promote World Go Vegan Week.

New to veganism? Click here to order a Vegan Starter Kit.

 

veganmofo 2011 - vegan pizza takes over the world

Vegan pizza montage, bitches!
——————————

(More below the fold…)

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

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

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

Jump to:

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

 

null

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
——————————

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…)

Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 25: Vegan nomz & Bowl-a-thons!

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Vegan cookies are distributed

Vegan cookies are distributed at a Prop 8 rally in Riverside, CA, circa 2008.
CC image via Flickr user lierne.

For this edition of Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, let’s start with some shiny happy news for a change, shall we? Namely, cross-movement bridge-building with vegan nomz and bowl-a-thons!

(Take note, carnists and defensive omnivores: vegans are not, in point o’ facts, all single-minded activists who prioritize nonhuman over human animals. Also: we are quite capable of multitasking, thankyouverymuch.)

Vegan Protest Fuel: Feeding the protesters in Madison, WI

Vegan Protest Fuel is the first of two projects I’d like to share with y’all (and, if you happen to have a little extra scratch laying around, encourage you to contribute to). Started just last week in response to the ongoing protests in Wisconsin, the good folks at Vegan Protest Fuel deliver vegan food to peaceful protesters defending their rights – because “Everyone Needs to Eat.” Naturally, their first campaign is feeding “the tenacious heroes in Madison, WI, who are fighting to preserve their precious collective bargaining rights and for economic justice in their state against a radical conservative governor and assembly.” Over time, they hope to expand their program throughout the United States and, possibly, the world.

Powered by tofu: it’s not just a slogan on a tee, yo.

See also: Food Not Bombs, Food for Life Global, HIPPO, A Well-Fed World and Ample Harvest.

Team Vegan Vixens: Bowling for abortions in the National Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon!

Team Vegan Vixens needs your support in the National Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon! Held throughout the month of April,

The Bowl-a-Thon is a nationwide series of local events that allow community members (you!) to captain your own bowling team, participate in a kickass national event – and raise money to help women and girls pay for abortions they couldn’t otherwise afford.

Abortion Funds are local, grassroots groups that work tirelessly to help low-income and disadvantaged women who want an abortion and do not have enough money to pay for it. Abortion Funds help women pay for their abortions, help them buy bus or plane tickets, and even offer women a place to stay when they have to travel for an abortion. Abortion Funds make a difference in women’s lives…and you can join them!

With $236 raised so far, Team Vegan Vixens is currently the top fundraiser for the Chicago Abortion Fund, which ranks #8 overall. Help Team Vegan (Vixens!) represent by pledging your support. Or sign up to participate your own bad self!

Fuck yeah, pro-choice vegans.

(More below the fold…)

Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 19: Brain Food (Vegan, Natch!)

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Vegan Brain Food

“Vegan Brain Food”: A mashup of book covers related to this latest edition of “Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs.” Clockwise from the upper-left: Sistah Vegan: Food, Identity, Health, and Society: Black Female Vegans Speak by A. Breeze Harper, ed. (2010); Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?: Reflections on the Liberation of Animals by Anthony J. Nocella II and Steven Best, eds. (2004); Sisterhood Is Forever: The Women’s Anthology for a New Millennium by Robin Morgan, ed. (2003); The Pornography of Meat by Carol Adams (2004); The Year of the Flood: A Novel by Margaret Atwood (2009); Penelope by Marilyn Kaye (2007); Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism by Melanie Joy (2009); and VegNews, March+April 2010.
——————————

Sistah Vegan Book: Win a Free Copy!

Editor Breeze Harper is giving away a free, signed copy of her upcoming anthology, Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health & Society. The catch? You have to answer a short essay question, which will (hopefully) get you thinking about issues of food, race, gender, and/or nonhuman animals in new (and fruitful!) way. The deadline is April 1st, so don’t delay!

Let Live Foundation: Food Justice w/ lauren Ornelas (3/21)

I’m so terribly jealous of all you vegan folks living on the east and west coasts; y’all always throw the coolest conferences and lectures! (There’s a reason I titled this link roundup “Brain Food,” yo!) This Sunday, March 21st, Let Live Foundation will be hosting speaker lauren Ornelas of the Food Empowerment Project. On the menu?: Food justice, veganism, and the intersections of human and animal exploitation. If you happen to find yourself in Portland this weekend, attend, take notes, and report back, mkay? (Pretty please? With an organic, raw, fair trade cherry on top?)

The Washington Times: Food For Life Global Is Coming Through Big In Haiti

Who says animal advocates only care about nonhumans, hmmm? Check out this nice writeup Food For Life Global received in The Washington Times, and then hop on over to Disaster Relief in Haiti: Animal Rescue & Vegan/Animal-Friendly Resources to see how else you can help with disaster relief efforts in Haiti (and Chile).

The Voracious Vegan: International Women’s Day: Why Feminism? and “Until We Are All Free”: International Women’s Day (@ Choosing Raw)

In honor of International Women’s Day (which took place on March 8th), the Voracious Vegan penned not one, but two posts. The first includes a short film that, in Tasha’s words explains why “women’s rights and feminism are still relevant and necessary in this day and age.” Additionally, in a guest post at Choosing Raw, Tasha discusses the intersections of feminism and veganism, including the shared ideologies and social systems which allow human, animal and environmental exploitation to thrive. It’s a lengthy piece but well worth it – she touches upon a number of salient points, including the objectification of women’s and animals’s bodies; the state’s (and businesses’) attempts to control the reproductive systems of females, human and nonhuman alike; food and environmental justice; and public safety and human health concerns.

(More below the fold…)

Libby and Louie (a Valentine’s Day Love Story)

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Peaceful Prairie 2010 V-Day Vegan eCard

If you are lucky enough to find yourself in Deer Trail, Colorado this Sunday, stop by Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary for a Vegan Valentine’s Day Brunch. In a delightful re-imagining of an otherwise blasé day, filled with tired gender roles and patriarchal mores, the Peaceful Prairie celebration will include a commemoration of animal love – that shared by chickens Libby and Louie – told over a plate of cruelty-free waffles, quiche, tofu scramble, fruit and coffee cake, of course!

A lame, silent hen and a handsome, fire-red rooster, respectively, these rescued birds have sought solace in one another’s presence – and one another’s presence alone – for the past five years and counting. If anything, their story serves as a gentle reminder that human animals do not have a monopoly on love – nor on kindness, compassion, selflessness, sacrifice, devotion, and family.

In Libby and Louie, A Love Story, Joanna Lucas writes of a love so pure and so true, undying and never-ending, such that any human would count herself lucky to be caught in its bonds.

And there they were. Just the two of them in the world. A monogamous couple in a species where monogamy is the exception. Determined to stay together even though their union created more problems than it solved, increased their burdens more than it eased them, and thwarted their instincts more than it fulfilled them.

It would have been easier and more “natural” for Louie to be in charge of a group of hens, like all the other roosters, but he ignored everyone except Libby. He paid no attention to the fluffy gray hen, the fiery blonde hen, the dreamy red hen, the sweet black hen dawdling in her downy pantaloons, or any of the 100 snow-white hens who, to our dim perceptions, looked exactly like Libby. Louie, the most resplendently bedecked and befeathered rooster of the sanctuary, remained devoted only to Libby – scrawny body, scraggly feathers, missing foot, hobbled gait and all. It’s true that, with our dull senses, we couldn’t grasp a fraction of what he saw in her because we can’t see, smell, hear, touch, taste, sense a scintilla of the sights, scents, sounds, textures, and tastes he does. But, even if we could see Libby in all her glory, it would still be clear that it wasn’t her physical attributes that enraptured Louie. If he sought her as his one and only companion, if he protected that union from all intrusions, it wasn’t because of her physique but because of her presence.

It would have been easier for Libby too – so vulnerable in her stunted, lame body – to join an existing chicken family and enjoy the added comfort, cover and protection of a larger group, but she never did. She stayed with Louie, and followed him on his daily treks in the open fields, limping and gimping behind him, exhausting herself only to be near him.

What bonded them was not about practical necessities or instinctual urges – if anything, it thwarted both. Their union was about something else, a rich inner abundance that seemed to flourish in each other’s presence, and that Libby nurtured in her silence and that Louie voiced, sang out loud, celebrated, noted, catalogued, documented, expressed, praised every day of their 1,800 days together.

Should we all – humans and nonhumans alike – be so blessed.

(More below the fold…)

lol ur empty gestures.

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

When I opened this email from 350.org, I couldn’t help but snicker – after which, I inevitably felt a little guilty. (Hey, I’ve got lady bits; I’ve been indoctrinated into a sea of guilt, whether deserved or not.) Then, still feeling a pang of guilt, I snickered some more. You see, their hearts are (kinda sorta) in the right place; their tummies, not so much.

Apologies again for bombarding you with email, but we’re in the final stretch here at Copenhagen and I hope you can join us in doing two unusual things.

“Unsual”? Well, I’m up for most anything. Do tell!

They’re unusual things for us to ask, but this is an unusual moment. In a certain sense the Copenhagen conference is going better than we dared hope. The small nations of the world have really been quite remarkable this week–their calls for strong climate action have completely changed the tone of these negotiations. They have stood up to immense pressure from the big powers, and they continue to rally behind the banner that all of you have raised for them. These nations are still trying to insert “350 language” into the treaty text, at least as a symbolic aspiration for the future. This would be a remarkable acknowledgment of physical reality, and give us a good base to keep moving on.

But not all is well in Copenhagen. We’re not going to get the agreement that we need (current negotiations put us on track to hit a devastating 770ppm by century’s end) and this movement will need to fight on in the years ahead.

But right now, while the Copenhagen climate talks are still unfolding, we need one final push.

Yes, yes!? Quit with the teasing and spill the organic, fair trade, sustainably harvested beans already!

(More below the fold…)

On peace (/of mind)

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

Now I can look at you in peace.
I don’t eat you any more.
– Franz Kafka, to a fish


 
Tomorrow marks the 28th annual International Day of Peace. The UN describes the holiday as

an annual observance of global non-violence and ceasefire. Every year, people in all parts of the world honour peace in various ways on 21 September.

Naturally – given that the observance was established by an anthropocentric organization – nonhuman animals are almost always excluded from celebrants’ circles of compassion. For example, the day’s “ceasefire” most certainly does not include the millions of cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, horses, dogs, rats, seals, foxes and other domestic and wild-living nonhuman animals who will be slaughtered for food, clothing, vivisection, entertainment and the like. Quite the contrary: humans’ exploitation of nonhumans will continue, unabated, throughout the day and across the globe.

Even so, that shouldn’t discourage animal advocates from observing the day with an emphasis on our nonhuman brothers and sisters. Indeed, it’s all the more reason to stress a truly inclusive and nonviolent day of peace. If not us, who?

When I think of “peace,” the first thought to come to mind is the above quote from Franz Kafka, a Jewish writer and vegetarian whose three younger sisters (and only surviving siblings) all perished in the Holocaust. Now I can look at you in peace. I don’t eat you any more. So simple, so beautiful, so true.

Peace in actions brings peace of mind. And what more fundamental actions do humans engage in than eating, feasting, consuming? Peace begins (but does not end!) on your plate.

Through its Roots & Shoots program, the Jane Goodall Institute has been celebrating its own Day of Peace since 2004. The idea began when the UN appointed Jane Goodall a Messenger of Peace in 2002:

Another action of the U.N. was to designate Messengers of Peace. People who are selected as Messengers of Peace are widely recognized for their achievements in music, literature, sports and the arts. Dr. Jane was appointed a Messenger of Peace on April 16, 2002 by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. To commemorate Dr. Jane’s appointment, Roots & Shoots members at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point first conceived of and created the Giant Peace Dove puppets through Puppet Farm Arts. Since then, Roots & Shoots members and friends have flown doves in more than 40 countries around the world.

Dr. Jane created Roots & Shoots Day of Peace in 2004 in honor of U.N. International Day of Peace; each year, Roots & Shoots Day of Peace is observed in late September. Roots & Shoots groups around the world fly Giant Peace Dove Puppets to celebrate Roots & Shoots Day of Peace for its symbolic meaning. They also plan and implement peace project initiatives to help make the world a better place for animals, the environment and the human community.

This year, the Roots & Shoots Day of Peace falls on September 20th; next year, it will be celebrated on September 18th. Though it’s too late to plan or attend an event, you can see what others are doing on the campaign’s events page. 2007’s activities are captured in a colorful ebook, available for download here. (‘twould be awesome if the JGI encouraged more specific and practical anti-speciesist actions, such as a vegan or even vegetarian diet, but I suppose merely mentioning nonhuman animal in the day’s festivities is a good start. Certainly, it’s a step beyond what the UN has done for our nonhuman kin.)

(More below the fold…)

An American Opera Goes on an American Tour

Friday, September 4th, 2009

An American Opera (Poster)

This past weekend marked the 4th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Four years ago last Saturday, Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, causing untold property damage, environmental destruction and loss of life from Florida through Texas. At least 1,836 humans died, victims of nature, government ineptitude and indifference, and racism and classism. The number of nonhuman animal victims will never be known.

Though I didn’t observe the occasion here in writing, the anniversary didn’t pass me by unnoticed. The weekend’s birthday celebrations were bittersweet; while spoiling my dog-kids with homemade treats, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the many dogs who perished in the storm and its aftermath – some of them murdered in cold blood, by people who should have been their protectors.

A year after Katrina, I marked the day with a sort a photo retrospective, which I titled “The Greatness of a Nation,” after the much-loved Mahatma Gandhi quotation. Three years later, I don’t have much to add, so I invite you to go check it out if you haven’t already.
 


 
The past four years have seen a number of books and films made about Hurricane Katrina; see, for example, Douglas Brinkley’s The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast (2006); Jed Horne’s Breach of Faith: Hurricane Katrina and the Near Death of a Great American City (2008); and Josh Neufeld’s A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge (2009). Many of these projects have focused on animal rescue efforts: Mike Shiley’s Dark Water Rising: Survival Stories of Hurricane Katrina Animal Rescues (2006); Best Friends’ Not Left Behind: Rescuing the Pets of New Orleans (2006); Cathy Scott’s Pawprints of Katrina: Pets Saved and Lessons Learned (2008); and even children’s books, such as Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship, and Survival (2008).

Released in 2007, Tom McPhee’s An American Opera: The Greatest Pet Rescue Ever! is a documentary recounting the spontaneous and titanic efforts undertaken by local and national animal activists to rescue the nonhuman animals caught in Hurricane Katrina’s wake:

Tom McPhee’s An American Opera: The Greatest Pet Rescue Ever! is a multi-award winning documentary film chronicling what happened during Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana when pet owners were forced to evacuate without their pets. An American Opera follows the pets, vets, owners, officials, rescuers, and adopters of animals as they try to remedy the situation, revealing that not everyone had the same goal of saving animals. Tom McPhee directed, narrated, and produced the film with the production companies Man Smiling Moving Pictures and Cave Studio.

Interviewing leaders of animal organizations and volunteers who went to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, it is revealed that at the beginning, everyone had different ideas about how things should be done, but no one was willing to take charge because the problem was bigger than anyone could have imagined. The film champions the volunteers whose only concern was saving animals, unlike the animal organizations who were more concerned with the chain of command.

After about a month, the state put the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in charge who told the volunteers to stop rescuing. Anyone not with the LA/SPCA was considered ‘rogue’ and operating outside the authority. Meanwhile, the police in St. Bernard Parish were shooting dogs in what they say was a form of mercy.

Months after Katrina, many owners are still not reunited with their pets because they do not know where they are and do not have the means to find them. Some people have found that their animals have been adopted out and cannot get them back.

The film ends with Barkus, a Louisiana pet parade, indicating New Orleans was not washed away with the hurricane.

(More below the fold…)

#oink, #oink

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

Photo via Farm Sanctuary

In Friday’s weekend activist link roundup, I included a piece by Tracy @ Digging Through the Dirt, Use Twitter to Advocate on Behalf of Pigs. Tracy put out a call to animal advocates to tweet in support of the pigs on Sunday the 16th, for example, by including links to undercover investigations of factory farm operations, talking about the swine flu, encouraging people to go vegan for the animals, etc., etc., etc.. In order to piggyback (pun intended) on the anticipated success of the animal ag. propagandists, all tweets needed to include the hashtag #oink.

I’ll let Tracy explain:

Animal exploiters on Twitter hope history repeats itself Sunday.

On Aug. 2 a group of dairy farmers worked to make “#moo” a trending topic on the social-networking site. They want to do the same for “#oink” on Sunday.

With “#oink” a trending topic, those in animal agribusiness want to convince people to call swine flu “H1N1.”

If the “farmers” succeed, animal advocates can use this opportunity to raise awareness of the suffering pigs endure in agribusiness.

If enough people use a word, phrase or hashtag, said word, phrase or hashtag will appear in all Twitter users’ right-hand sidebars, under the headline “Trending Topics.” These are fluid and change on a constant basis; while some topics, such as “American Idol” or “Les Paul” are rather intuitive, others – like #moo and #oink – are less so. Whether they’re familiar with the topics or not, many Twitter users look to the Trending Topics as a guide or sort of news ticker, clicking through to weigh in on a topic, or to see what all the fuss is about.

Animal exploiters (along with other spammers), then, hijack the Trending Topics tool in order to disseminate their industry propaganda. Whereas animal exploiters hoped to “educate” Twitter users about the safety of “pork,” extol the virtues of “happy meat,” and frame the debate about swine flu/H1N1, the goal of animal advocates was to counter their message with a healthy dose of reality.

(For more on Twitter, trending topics, etc. check out this Twitter FAQ.)

I’m not a big Twitter user – the 140 character limit is enough to make me pull my hair out – but I was vaguely aware of the #moo movement. So with the advance notice about Sunday’s planned #oink takeover, I pledged to participate this time around. To make things even easier, I developed a list of Tweets and links the day beforehand, since I knew I’d be in and out of the house on Sunday. (It’s a good thing, too, since my Internet connection was spotty throughout the day on Sunday.) I added to the list, which I stored in a Word doc, throughout the day on Sunday, mostly by copying and pasting RT’s – re-tweets, that is, tweets from other animal advocates on Twitter, which I “crossposted” on my own account. I also kept an eye on the Trending Topics and adapted my hashtags as necessary. (For example, #fact became a Trending Topic later in the day, so I added it to #oink where appropriate.) Every two, ten, twenty or 120 minutes, I’d post a tweet or two, then go back to whatever it was I was doing.

Other animal advocates were even more engaged, for example, responding to followers who wanted to know what all the #oink-ing was all about, arguing directly with animal exploiters, and providing further information to those interested in a vegan diet. Stephanie at Change.org falls into the first category, and has an excellent write-up of her online animal activism over the weekend” “Vick, Dogs, Dairy, Cows, Pigs, Twitter, and the Rape Rack,” Parts One and Two. Tracy also summarizes her experience here.

In a related note, Happy Herbivore is using Twitter hashtags in a different way. In a new section of the website called Weekly Eats, HH will feature recipes submitted by Twitter users, with a different theme for each day: “meatless Mondays, tofu Tuesdays, raw Wednesdays, tempeh Thursdays, fat-free (or gluten-free, if you prefer) Fridays, seasonal Saturdays and seiten Sundays!” To participate, you can either tweet about your recipe or meal idea, or email your submissions to HH directly. Try to use the hashtags #vegan and #meatlessmonday (or wev) – ‘twould be awesome to see #vegan elevated to a Trending Topic! Or keep an eye on existing Trending Topics, and tweet about your animal advocacy using existing popular hashtags where appropriate.

After the jump are my tweets for Sunday. Because I’ve more or less abandoned my other blog, I set up my delicious and Twitter accounts to post digests of each day’s activities to Smite Me!. So that’s how I came up with a nice lil’ roundup of Sunday’s #oink tweets, just in case y’all are wondering.

(More below the fold…)

Quick links: AR2009 Recap

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Nope, I wasn’t able to attend (believe you me, y’all would’ve heard about it for weeks beforehand if I had!), but since I didn’t quite get around to blogging today, I’m going to direct you to some of the bloggers who did attend. There’s plenty of good reading to go around!

Elaine at Vegan Soapbox live blogged the event; I count at least 16 posts with AR2009 in the title. (Though I could be wrong; I got into some poison ivy over the weekend, and am all groggy and double-vision-y on the ‘roids and ‘histamines. Again. So if you click on over to VS and only see 8 posts, do me a solid and keep it to yourself, mkay? Bah, I’m so doped up I actually used the phrase “do me a solid.” I hate that saying.)

Anyhow, you can view a list of all Elaine’s AR 2009 posts using the AR 2009 topic link.

Deb at Invisible Voices has two pieces up so far: AR2009, part 1 and AR2009, part 2. I haven’t had a chance to read part 2 yet, but if it’s only half as interesting as part 1, it’s a keeper!

Stephanie at Animal Rights hasn’t yet been able to do much blogging about the event, but do go read this touching piece about her flight into LA from St. Louis. It’ll make your day.

Finally, the always awesome pattrice jones reposted her 2007 talk on “Nurturing Activism.” Do go check it out!

(More below the fold…)

Dog Deserve Better’s 6th Annual Chain-Off – Freedom for Chained Dogs

Monday, June 15th, 2009

null

The anti-chaining group Dog Deserve Better has been holding an an annual Chain-Off, on or around July 4th, since 2004. This year, the Chain-Off will take place June 27 through July 12.

Just what is a “Chain-Off,” you ask?

Chain Off has been held annually around the 4th of July since 2003, highlighting the reality that while Americans are celebrating their own freedom, there are tens of thousands of Man’s Best Friends in every state who are still not free: America’s chained and penned dogs. These dogs are found in backyards stretching from Delaware to Alaska, from Maine to Hawaii, throughout the provinces of Canada, and in countries around the world.

Chain Off has evolved from one woman chaining herself to a doghouse in 2003 for 33 hours, to 85 people chaining themselves in 23 states during last year’s 2008 Chain Off to raise awareness for chained dogs.

This year help us blow last year’s 85 total out of the water by chaining yourself in your own backyard, your neighborhood, a local park, or with us in South Carolina! Join up ‘in packs’ to make a local event of it, or take it low-key in a one-woman or one-man show in your own backyard. However it works for you, it’s ok by us! We’ve got more excitement than ever, with a large event in S. Carolina where activists will be chained, and new ways to fundraise in groups or on your own. We’d like to see over 100 people, and at least one from EVERY SINGLE STATE, living chained to doghouses sometime during the week from June 27th through July 7th. We can do it! You can do it!

In addition to being our biggest awareness campaign of the year, this is also our biggest fundraising event of the year, last year raising over $33,000 for our work with chained and penned dogs. $33,000? Let’s blow that out of the water this year too, with a goal of $60,000 raised during Chain Off! Be part of it! You can fundraise even if you’re not going to live chained to the doghouse…join an online fundraising ‘team’ in your state, start your own fundraising page, and make it happen.

We intended to do Chain Off in Denver, Colorado this year, but were asked by Denver Kills Dogs to stand in solidarity with them in a boycott of Denver. While we had been planning to use the opportunity to protest their pit bill ban, we decided it would be right for us to pull out of Denver. Hence a time crunch to find another location!

Given that we had so little time and needed on the ground help, we approached friend and founder of local anti-chaining organization Pawsitive Effects Mikael Hardy, and are chaining off in her neck of the woods so we can collaborate. Mikael was one of the 11 participantes in our 2006 Chain Off who spent days chained to doghouses hoping to win a new car, and took her passion for the cause to new levels!

We’d like to invite all the up and coming local Anti-Chaining organizations to Chain Off with us; this show of coordination and solidarity will take our cause even further!

Whether you are part of an organization or an individual animal advocate, we’d love for you to travel there to be chained with us, or set yourself up in your neighborhood, town, or your own backyard! We accommodate all participants, in whatever way works for you.

Make sure to visit our Chain Off Home Page and fill out the registration form to get you started. Special thanks to Susan Hartland, DDB Seattle Rep, for her diligent work in obtaining not only one but two Chain Off locations this year!

Chain Off Attire, with this gorgeous logo donated by DaftGeneration.com, will make the perfect 4th of July shirt this year! Gets yours at our cafepress store.

If the idea of chaining yourself to a dog house in the heat of July doesn’t appeal to you (and here, I should stop to note that it isn’t exactly a party for dogs similarly chained, either), you can make a donation to DDB, or sign on as a Team Sponsor for $100. And, naturally, there’s all that cool Chain-Off 2009 gear to be had!

(More below the fold…)

June 20th marks the 1st International Day of Action for Elephants in Zoos

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

null

On June 20th (that’s a week from this Saturday, folks), In Defense of Animals will be holding the first-ever International Day of Action for Elephants in Zoos (IDAEZ for short).

IDA describes IDAEZ as

a global event aimed at bringing mammoth attention to the plight of elephants in zoos and ending their suffering. On Saturday, June 20th, pro-elephant advocates will turn out en masse at their local zoos, holding outreach events and demonstrations to educate the public about the tragic effects of keeping elephants in small, impoverished zoo pens where they are suffering and dying prematurely.

Elephants are highly intelligent, complex and self-aware individuals who have evolved for long distance living. In the wild they range tens of miles a day, live in large, tight-knit family groups, and communicate with one another at great distances. Yet zoos keep elephants in tiny exhibits of a few acres or less, where lack of movement and standing on hard surfaces cause painful foot infections and arthritis, the leading causes of euthanasia in captive-held elephants. The stress and boredom of intensive captivity results in abnormal behaviors such as repetitive swaying and head bobbing. […]

The elephants need your help! By participating in this event, you become part of a global community of pro-elephant advocates joined together on June 20th to end the suffering of elephants in zoos. We urge you to organize or join an event at your local zoo, write letters, educate your friends and family. It’s all about taking action. United, we are a powerful force for change!

Backed by an army of public relations personnel, the zoo industry has been largely successful in convincing the general public that zoos work for the public good: breeding endangered animal species which might otherwise go extinct; fostering in children a love and appreciation for nature and its inhabitants; throwing their weight behind sundry conservation efforts so that, one day, animals need not live in captivity for their species to survive. This is a lie.

(More below the fold…)

Farm Sanctuary’s Country Hoe Down is this weekend!

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Photo via Farm Sanctuary & Connie Pugh; Farm Sanctuary supporter Rosebud makes peace with Calvin Pig at the 2008 CA Country Hoe Down.

If you find yourself in or around Orland, California this weekend, consider yourself one lucky activist! Farm Sanctuary is holding its annual Country Hoe Down this Saturday and Sunday. Writers, journalists and bloggers in particular should plan to be there, as there appear to be plenty of opportunities for interviews and networking!

Just be sure to have enough fun for the both of us; the animal advocacy community rarely holds its events in Kansas City, even though the city is technically located smack dab in the middle of the country. Sniff, sniff.

(You can view photos of previous Farm Sanctuary events here, btw.)

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Meredith Turner
Date: Thu, May 14, 2009 at 7:38 PM
Subject: You’re Invited! Farm Sanctuary’s Country Hoe Down THIS WEEKEND!

Have plans for the weekend? Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization, would like to invite you to attend/cover our annual Country Hoe Down at our Orland, CA Shelter this Saturday, May 16 and Sunday, May 17. If you’ve never visited our farm, this whimsical two-day event is the perfect time to come out, meet the hundreds of rescued animals who call it home and enjoy a rejuvenating taste of the country life!

Please let me know if you would like to join us for a day of hayrides, farm tours, fascinating speaker presentations, delicious food, drinks, live music and an evening barn dance you won’t soon forget! For more information, please see the press release below. Gene Baur, Farm Sanctuary’s president and co-founder, will be available for interviews. We look forward to seeing you there!

All the best,

Meredith

(More below the fold…)

IDA: Take Action Today For World Week for Animals in Laboratories (WWAIL)

Monday, April 20th, 2009

WWAIL 2009 Poster Banner

Saturday marked the beginning of World Week for Animals in Laboratories (WWAIL), which is being held from April 18th through the 26th this year.

In addition to emailing the White House Office of Public Liason (OPL) (see below), you can find additional ways to take action at http://www.wwail.org. You can view a list of 2009 events here, or register your own. IDA helpfully provides a bevy of literature, posters and stickers for your events – no matter how big or small – which you can view and download here.

Striking at the Roots’ Mark Hawthorne also offers his suggestions for 5 Things You Can Do to Help Animals in Labs.

Are you participating in WWAIL? Share your action and outreach ideas in the comments!

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: In Defense of Animals
Date: Mon, Apr 20, 2009 at 11:31 AM
Subject: Take Action Today For World Week for Animals in Laboratories (WWAIL)

WWAIL 2009 - IDA Header

World Week for Animals in Laboratories (WWAIL) Is Here!

April 18 – 26 – Scroll down for an important message you should send to President Obama

In February 2009, under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) received an additional $10.4 billion in funding. This money is in addition to NIH’s 2009 budget of $30.3 billion.

Although technology has progressed and there is broad acknowledgment of the flaws of animal models, NIH funding for animal research has remained unchanged and the numbers of animals used has increased.

Please join IDA in contacting the White House Office of Public Liaison during World Week for Animals in Laboratories (WWAIL) to ask that the $10.4 billion in stimulus money be designated exclusively for non-animal research. Click here to read IDA’s letter to President Obama.

(More below the fold…)

Kinship Circle: Friends of Kinship Circle Alerts, 4/13/09

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – KinshipCirclePrimary [at] accessus.net
Date: Mon, Apr 13, 2009 at 9:31 PM
Subject: We Are Their Hope [Friends Of Kinship Circle, 4/13/09]

Kinship Circle - Friends of KC Banner

4/13/09: We Are Their Hope
http://friendsofkinshipcircle.wordpress.com

* KINSHIP CIRCLE DOES NOT WRITE OR RESEARCH THESE ALERTS.
* QUESTIONS? CONTACT ALERT WRITERS. PLEASE DO NOT HIT REPLY.

IN THIS ALERT:

1. Recent Kinship Circle Alerts Are A Click Away
2. Pound Seizure & Humane Euthanasia
3. Save Stu – Wrongfully Impounded Since 9/15/05
4. New England Animal Rights Workshop 6/13/09
5. Party To End Puppy Mills On 4/19/09
6. Urge Portugal City To Become Anti-Bullfighting
7. We Are Their Hope: World Lab Animal Liberation Week
8. Vegans Take On The “3 Peaks” Challenge

(More below the fold…)

Going silent.

Friday, April 17th, 2009

null

Today is the Day of Silence,

a student-led national event that brings attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. Students from middle school to college take some form of a vow of silence in an effort to encourage schools and classmates to address the problem of anti-LGBT behavior. The event is designed to illustrate the silencing effect of this bullying and harassment on LGBT students and those perceived to be LGBT.

The DOS organizers explain:

As the Day of Silence approaches we’ve been getting lots of questions and comments along two similar but distinct threads on our various websites and in our email.

1) Do I need to be silent all day? Can I communicate at all? Can I blog/tweet/facebook?

2) Being silent doesn’t help and only perpetuates the problem. We should be speaking out.

The answer to both of these is similar: being silent has been and continues to be a very powerful way to create positive dialogue around the problem of anti-LGBT bullying for many students across the country. However, each person who participates in the Day of Silence has a different way of participating.

For some, the best way to participate is by being completely silent, including not participating in online communication. For others, the best way to participate is by spending the day speaking out about the issues of LGBT bullying. Some who participate get limited approval from their schools for their participation and so can only be silent during breaks between classes. There are many ways of participation ranging from complete silence to no silence.

The point is that the DOS is a day to bring attention to the problem of anti-LGBT bullying and each person who participates must determine how they can best use, or not use, their voice to do that. If you feel you will have the deepest positive impact by remaining completely silent and have the appropriate approvals to do so then go for it. If you feel that in your situation, you can have a deeper positive impact by speaking out then that should be your way of observing. No one can make that determination but you.

Your voice, whether silent or loud, WILL make a difference this Friday and the Day of Silence will speak volumes.

The DOS isn’t just for students, however. Adults can participate as well, by signing the pledge of solidarity; speaking out against anti-LGBTQ prejudice and bullying; observing a day of silence, whatever form that may take; Tweeting about the DOS; writing about the DOS on Facebook, your blog or similar; silencing your blog; and/or wearing red or rainbow-colored clothing.

In observance of the Day of Silence, easyVegan.info will remain silent for the rest of the day. Please take this opportunity to check out the Day of Silence blog and website, and educate yourself about LGBTQ issues.

(More below the fold…)

Kinship Circle: Historic Spay/Neuter Bill Needs Your Voice

Monday, April 13th, 2009

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – KinshipCirclePrimary [at] accessus.net
Date: Tue, Apr 7, 2009 at 4:31 PM
Subject: Historic Spay/Neuter Bill Needs Your Voice

FRIENDS OF KINSHIP CIRCLE / PERMISSION TO CROSSPOST

Kinship Circle - Friends of KC Banner

http://friendsofkinshipcircle.wordpress.com

* KINSHIP CIRCLE DOES NOT WRITE OR RESEARCH THESE ALERTS.
* CONTACT ALERT WRITERS. PLEASE DO NOT HIT REPLY.

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

California: Spay/Neuter Bill Needs Your Voice Now

ALERT WRITER / REPLY TO:
Judie Mancuso, President, Social Compassion In Legislation (SCIL)

20 A 501(c)(4) non-profit – reducing pet overpopulation through legislation
stc34 [at] aol.com * http://www.SocialCompassionInLegislation.org

**ATTACHED ALERT CONTAINS DIRECT LINKS TO SAMPLE LETTER + CONTACT INFO**

BACKGROUND:

Together, can make California a humane model for the nation. Our first SB 250 hearing is scheduled for April 15, 2009 in the Senate Local Government Committee. We need your letters and support calls as soon as possible. Please consider printing out letters for others to sign, then faxing all the letters to Senator Florez. Thank you so much for your dedication to pets in California and for your desire to help decrease euthanasia in our state. DETAILED INFO ON SB 250: http://www.YESonSB250.com

(More below the fold…)

Cut it out!*

Friday, March 20th, 2009


 
Today marks the first day of spring – and the beginning of a weekend’s worth of Meatout festivities!

What is “Meatout,” you ask?

On (or around) March 20 — the first day of spring — thousands of caring people in all 50 U.S. states and two dozen other countries get active to host educational Meatout events. Activities include colorful festivals, lectures, public dinners, feed-ins, cooking demos, food samplings, leafleting, information tables and more.

The occasion is Meatout, the world’s largest and oldest annual grassroots diet education campaign. This year is the 25th annual observance! Every spring, thousands of caring Meatout supporters educate their communities and ask their friends, families, and neighbors to pledge to “kick the meat habit (at least for a day) and explore a wholesome, compassionate diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.”

This year’s theme is “Change Your Diet – Change the World!”

You can find a very lengthy (*smiles*) list of events here; register and/or plan for an event here (hint: it’s never too late to download your materials!); find a list of suggested activities here; download banners here; and send your family and friends some way cute ecards (such as the one above) here. Oh, and t-shirts – don’t forget the t-shirts!

If you’re not (yet!?) a vegetarian, please consider ordering a free vegetarian starter guide in celebration of the holiday. Use the Google to unearth the many options available. Meatout.org has plenty of recipes online, too, including a 7-day meal plan; check it here.

For a list of my favorite and to-make-soon meals, click on over to my delicious account, where I’ve tagged 216 (and counting) recipes. Delicious is a handy way to keep track of recipes; you can tag each link with the ingredients, meal type, etc., and then work backwards on a whim, searching for the perfect recipe in which to use all those squash you’ve got languishing in the garage (or wevs). Use the ‘notes’ field to comment on a recipe after you’re tried it. Say buh-bye to those stained index cards!

As for moi, as long as the weather holds, I’ll be outside, getting my garden ready for spring. This year, we’re converting two large planters along the driveway from flowerbeds to V-gardens (where the “V” stands for Victory and Vegan, naturally). It’s going to be a ton of work, but hopefully worth it. In addition to last year’s tomatoes, peppers, jalapenos, pumpkins, spaghetti squash, green and yellow squash, watermelon, cantaloupe and pumpkins, we hope to plant some blueberries, strawberries and raspberries this season. And of course, can’t forget all those apples, pears and apricots! I’m making myself hungry just thinking about it.

Now, who says vegans are deprived, hmmmm?

* Dave Coulier, anyone? Ugh. I just totally dated myself there.

(More below the fold…)

Would you buy a baby?: Adopt, Don’t Shop!

Saturday, December 20th, 2008

The Saturday before x-mas is reportedly “the biggest puppy buying day of the year,” according to In Defense of Animals (IDA). In response, the group has designated today the 1st Annual Nationwide “Adopt, Don’t Shop!” Day:

The Saturday before Christmas is the biggest puppy buying day of the year. This year, In Defense of Animals is teaming up with activists in dozens of cities around the country to educate the public about the horrors of pet factories and encourage people to adopt a homeless animal from a shelter or rescue group instead of buying one from a pet store.

What: December 20th, 12-3 pm
Where: Your local pet shop

Almost all pet stores around the nation are supplied by inhumane commercial breeding facilities (aka pet factories) where the breeding animals are imprisoned for life and used as breeding machines. Meanwhile, it’s estimated that nearly 5 million healthy cats and dogs (many of them purebred) are euthanized in American shelters every year simply because there aren’t enough homes for them. Make a commitment today to take action for the victims of pet factories and companion animal overpopulation today!

Join In Defense of Animals and friends at your local pet store to help end the abuses of pet factories.

You can find a list of events here.

Over at Vegan Soapbox, Elaine has a list of suggestions for online activism, including posting profiles of animals available for adoption on Petfinder and such. Which is a great idea; but first, let’s tackle a few myths about adopting vs. buying animals.

(More below the fold…)