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NEWS OF THE WEEK: PETA Criticizes The Pope, Norway Bans Fur Farms, Jan. 9, 2018 – Jan. 15, 2018

NEWS OF THE WEEK:

PETA Criticizes The Pope, Norway Bans Fur Farms, Jan. 9, 2018 – Jan. 15, 2018

By Leslie Goldberg

Pope Francis, what are you thinking? We know you care about animals.

Pope Francis, what are you thinking? We know you care about animals.

HE POPE TRIES…AND FAILS

Perhaps without really thinking about it, Pope Francis has invited some 2,000 poor people and refugees to a circus in Rome. “His Holiness' concern for the downtrodden must rightly extend to the wild animals who have been taken from their homelands and are enslaved, caged, chained and beaten so that they'll perform tricks that baffle and stress them,” PETA said. Over the last couple of years the pope has succeeded in offering Laundromats and showering facilities, as well as medical services to the homeless. We like that, but the circus? Not so much. (CNN, Jan. 11, 2018)

FUR FARM BAN IN NORWAY

It’s not happening tomorrow but Norway announced that it will shut down all its fur farms. The date is set for 2025. Currently Norway has over 300 fur farms which breed and kill some 700,000 minks and 110,000 foxes a year. It is unclear whether or not Norway will ban the sale of fur. (Live Kindly, Jan 14, 2018)

LOBSTERS GET A BREAK (SORT OF)

The Swiss Federal Council prohibited Swiss cooks from boiling lobsters alive, mandating that the crustaceans must first be knocked out by electrical shock or have their brains “mechanically destroyed” beginning March 1 this year. (Washington Post, Jan. 13, 2018)

FREEDOM DENIED

Lolita, a Florida whale held at the Miami Seaquarium, will remain there because a federal appeals court has denied claims that her captivity does her great harm. PETA brought the lawsuit in July of 2015, three months after the National Marine Fisheries Service recognized whales such as Lolita as an endangered species. PETA said it may appeal.  “This ruling sentences this highly intelligent, deeply lonely and distressed orca to a lifetime of physical and psychological harm, confined in a tiny concrete cell without family, friends or freedom,” Jared Goodman, director of animal law at the PETA Foundation, said in a statement. Reuters reported the appeals court said accepting critics’ “expansive” conception of illegal harm and harassment could upset the USDA’s regulatory scheme to help ensure the humane treatment of captive animals used for exhibitions and research. We at DxE believe that some “schemes” need to be upset! – (Reuters, Jan. 14, 2018)

ARIZONA GETS ITS FIRST ALL-VEGAN GROCERY STORE

Vegan shopping will be getting a little easier in Glendale, AZ thanks to Dylan and Sandy McKee, who will soon be opening the Veggie Rebellion, an all-vegan grocery. The couple said they got the idea after visiting a veg market in Portland OR. Are you listening Whole Foods? – (AZCENTRAL, Jan. 14, 2018)

THE “ALTERNATIVE PROTEIN” BIZ IS BOOMING IN EUROPE

The agribusiness specialist Rabobank is expecting, for the next five years, the alternative protein market to grow a whopping 8 percent a year in Europe. The think tank says a similar trend is happening in Australia and the animal foods industry there is feeling the burn. The Straits Times reported that Meat & Livestock Australia, which does marketing and research for the meat industry, said the growing desire for alternative protein had increased the need for the sector to promote the benefits of meat, particularly its health benefits and the use of sustainable farming practices. How about just switching your business model? – (The Straits Times, Jan. 12, 2018)

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Why “humane” meat is a myth - and why we should protest it

Why “humane” meat is a myth

"Humane." "Cage-free." "Free-range." "Organic." What do all these labels mean?

Absolutely nothing. The animal agriculture industry knows that nobody likes animal cruelty, so they use these labels as marketing tools to keep consumers buying their products. They paint a happy picture of animals frolicking in the field, but this is a lie. Repeated investigations of  "humane," "cage-free," and "free-range" farms have revealed rampant disease, starvation, injury, and extreme crowding.

A commercial for Mary's Free Range Chicken (left) versus the reality of their farms as discovered by a DxE investigation. 

A commercial for Mary's Free Range Chicken (left) versus the reality of their farms as discovered by a DxE investigation. 

Wherever animals are seen as objects instead of individuals, they will never be treated with the respect and compassion that they deserve.

Even if animals were given the best life possible before their slaughter, they would still be the victims of exploitation and murder. Animal ag's humane-washing relies on the assumption that there is a right way to do the wrong thing, but there is no humane way to kill someone who does not want to die. 

So what can we do?

We have the truth on our side, and we must speak the truth in the places where lies are being sold. We must shine light on the inherent cruelty of animal exploitation until everyone understands that there is no such thing as "humane" meat. 

Help us spread the word by signing this petition asking the UN to include animal rights in its year review.

 

 

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NEWS OF THE WEEK: AG Gag Loses, Theresa May Buckles On Fox Hunting, Jan. 1, 2018 – Jan. 8, 2018

NEWS OF THE WEEK:

AG Gag Loses, Theresa May Buckles On Fox Hunting, Jan. 1, 2018 – Jan. 8, 2018

By Leslie Goldberg

HSUS is trying to keep a hunter from importing a dead black rhinoceros into the U.S.

HSUS is trying to keep a hunter from importing a dead black rhinoceros into the U.S.

IMPORTING DEAD TROPHY ANIMALS

A Texas businessman who paid $275,000 for a Dallas Safari Club hunting permit to travel to Africa and kill a black rhinoceros may not be able to get the carcass home. The Humane Society of the United States and other animal rights organizations are trying to stop the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from issuing the hunter an import permit, arguing that hunting such animals is driving them to extinction. The agency will be accepting public comment until Feb. 5. – (Associated Press, Jan. 5, 2018)

AG GAG LOSES (AGAIN)

The ag gag forces were foiled in Idaho on Thursday, January 4, when a federal appeals court ruled that the state could not criminalize undercover video filming within farms, dairies or slaughterhouses. Idaho tried to argue that video is not covered under the First Amendment. “Without some legitimate explanation we are left to conclude that Idaho is singling out for suppression one mode of speech – audio and video recordings of agricultural operations – to keep suspect practices out of the public eye,” the opinion stated. – (Idaho Statesman, Jan. 4, 2018)

THERESA MAY BUCKLES ON FOX HUNTING

Although she promised conservatives in the UK a vote on whether or not to keep the ban on fox hunting, Prime Minister Theresa May (who is in favor of fox hunting) now says she will not do so: “As I said, my own view hasn’t changed. As prime minister, my job isn’t just about what I think about something. It’s about what the view of the country is.”  A recent poll in England showed that 67 percent of voters believe foxhunting should remain illegal. Inevitably May will face backlash from conservative supporters and hunting groups, The Guardian said. – (The Guardian, Jan. 7, 2018)

USE A DRONE, GO TO JAIL

Nebraska will consider a bill next year which would criminalize using a drone to film above certain areas such as prison yards, other peoples’ homes and, yes, agricultural facilities. Jessie Herrman of the Nebraska Cattlemen Association said her group’s members are concerned that animal rights groups will fly drones over their property without permission. Earlier this year, she said, one animal rights group flew a drone over the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center near Clay Center, Nebraska and may have also photographed a feed lot. – (Associated Press, Jan 7, 2018)

NO STATE MONEY FOR RESEARCH ON DOGS AND CATS

The Virginia state legislature will consider a bill to ban the use of state money to fund research facilities that experiment on dogs and cats. The bill also would require that Virginia State Police keep a public list of those convicted of animal cruelty. People on the list would stay on it for at least 15 years. – (Associated Press, Jan. 7, 2018)

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What the Dairy Industry Doesn't Want You to Know

What the Dairy Industry Doesn't Want You to Know

A DxE investigator with Roselynn, a calf who was covered in diarrhea and maggots at Zonneveld Dairy before being rescued by the investigative team.

A DxE investigator with Roselynn, a calf who was covered in diarrhea and maggots at Zonneveld Dairy before being rescued by the investigative team.

Everybody knows that animals have to die to produce "meat," but what about dairy?

Cows don't produce milk unless they are pregnant or nursing so cows on dairy farms are repeatedly forcibly impregnated and when their babies are born, they get taken away from their mothers. After a few years, when mother cows' bodies begin to break down from birthing so many babies and they no longer produce enough milk to be profitable, they are slaughtered for cheap meat. So the dairy industry actually is the meat industry. Cows used for dairy are not only killed, but are violated and exploited for their entire lives until they are finally killed.

What happens to the babies?

After birth, usually on the very same day, calves are separated from their mothers and placed into small, wooden hutches with minimal protection from the elements. After three months, these babies will be slaughtered for veal. If female calves are not killed for veal, they will be forced to face the same awful fate as their mothers. DxE investigated Zonneveld Dairy, a supplier to LandO'Lakes, and found that the company's claims of animal welfare were completely false. Instead of the "soft bedding" LandO'Lakes says all of its cows have, the calves lived on wooden slats and piled up manure. One calf who was underweight, covered in diarrhea, and being eaten alive by maggots was rescued by the investigators and now lives safe at a sanctuary.

What about humane or organic dairy farms?

Sure, some dairy farms give the cows more room to roam, but they are still continually impregnating them, taking their babies away, and ultimately, selling the "used" cows to become meat. These are the realities of producing dairy, and even if the cows did stay with their babies and lived out their natural lives, it would still be wrong to exploit them for their bodies. Their milk should never be taken for humans when it is meant for baby cows. Cows exist for their own reasons, not to serve humans. The dairy industry hides violence and grief behind labels like "humane" and "organic" but you can help us defend the rights of cows and all animals!

SIGN this petition asking the UN to include animal rights in its universal periodic review

 

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NEWS OF THE WEEK: Scotland Bans Use Of Wild Animals In Circuses, Brits Shun “Beef” and “Veal,” Dec. 20, 2017 – Jan. 1, 2018

NEWS OF THE WEEK:

Scotland Bans Use Of Wild Animals In Circuses, Brits Shun “Beef” and “Veal,” Dec. 20, 2017 – Jan. 1, 2018

By Leslie Goldberg

Wild animals like these can no longer be uses in circuses in Scotland.

Wild animals like these can no longer be uses in circuses in Scotland.

SCOTLAND TO ANIMAL CIRCUSES: NOT HERE!

Scotland has become the first country in the UK to ban the use (and abuse) of wild animals in traveling circuses. The legislation was initially proposed by the country’s environmental secretary Roseanna Cunningham who said, “This is an important act that will not only prevent travelling circuses ever showing wild animals in Scotland in the future, but will demonstrate to the wider world that we are one of the growing number of countries that no longer condones the use of wild animals in this way.” (The Guardian)

STILL FIGHTING: BRIGITTE BARDOT

French former actress and long-time animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot is coming out with a new book “Tears of Combat:” “It is the record of my existence, of my fight of the way we are governed, my fight on behalf of animals and the deep expression of my disgust.” Bardot, now 83, used the occasion of her book release to take a dig at France’s new president Emmanuel Macron for what she called his lack of support for animal rights. She pointed to his recent vacationing at a hunting lodge and said, “He congratulated the hunters in front of their game while it was still warm...It’s scandalous and very inappropriate.” (Arab News)

FAILURE TO REGULATE CAFO’S

Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) got a pass (at least for now) from Scott Pruitt, head of EPA who concluded they couldn’t be regulated under the Clean Air Act. In 2009, HSUS and other groups including the Sierra Club filed a suit arguing that factory farms cause air pollution, water pollution and other environmental destruction and need to be regulated just like other industries. Pruitt, while agreeing that factory farms do indeed cause air pollution, said there is no way yet to quantify the emissions so the EPA can’t regulate them. “Once the agency has sufficient information on CAFO emissions, it will determine the appropriate regulatory approach to address those emissions,” he said. (Capital Press)

 SOME OF 2017’S WORST NEWS

A judge in Connecticut shut down a petition to grant legal personhood to three elephants in a traveling petting zoo. He called the suit, which was brought by DxE’s friends, the Nonhuman Rights Project, “wholly frivolous.” Apparently, he was not persuaded by the group’s insistence that elephants “have a sense of self, remember the past, plan for the future, engage in complex communication, show empathy and mourn their dead.” Maybe the judge could learn something from elephants. (Associated Press)

BRITS SHUN “BEEF” AND “VEAL”

The British are eating half the amount of beef and veal they did in 1975, according to ReportLinker. Citing information obtained from the UK National Statistical Office, ReportLinker reports that sales of vegetables as well as protein “alternatives,” have increased. The story made no mention of chickens. Hoping the former cow and lamb eaters aren’t making up for it with birds. (ReportLinker)

CLOTHING COMPANIES GO WITHOUT FUR

In the scramble to get “sustainability” kudos from a public increasingly concerned about the natural world, a bunch of companies either cut fur or limited its use this year. The corporations which stepped up include Gucci, Timberland, Northface, Burlington Coat Factory, Jimmy Choo, Michael Kors and Alexa Chung. (Sourcing Journal)

ISRAEL TAKES THE LEAD ON VEGANISM

It’s not just those huge animal rights demonstrations taking place in Israel that are impressive. Some 5 percent of Israelis claim to be vegan and another 8 to 10 percent claim to be vegetarians.  British newspaper The Independent called Tel Aviv the “Vegan Capital of the World.” Let’s hope that with so many households eschewing violence at the dinner table, the message of peace will spread throughout the region. (Jerusalem Post)

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NEWS OF THE WEEK: Vegan Food For LA Shelter Dogs, Animal Protection For Sharks & More, Dec. 12 - Dec. 19, 2017

NEWS OF THE WEEK:

Vegan Food For LA Shelter Dogs, Animal Protection For Sharks & More, Dec. 12 - Dec. 19, 2017

By Leslie Goldberg

Dogs at an LA animal shelter.

Dogs at an LA animal shelter.

VEGAN FOOD FOR SHELTER DOGS IN LA

The LA City Animal Services Commission is considering a proposal to serve vegan chow to the city’s 33,000 dogs in shelters -- no more kibble composed mostly of turkey, chicken and lamb byproducts. It would make LA the first city to feed its dogs vegan said the commission’s chief vet. The proposal is supported by feminist lawyer Lisa Bloom and Moby. BTW, please adopt a canine companion and feed them your own vegan dog food! (Washington Post)

MORE GOOD STUFF FROM LA

After a successful pilot project last year, 35 more schools in LA will get vegan lunch options. Why? The kids like it. “Students chose vegan lunch options on average 13% of the time, and on some days more than half the students chose a vegan lunch,” according to Ivy Marx, the district’s senior nutrition specialist, adding that one school even ran out of vegan options. The nutritionist said the favorites were vegan tamales and vegan teriyaki burgers. Makes you want to go back to high school again. (Just kidding.)  (Food Management)

NOT ONLY LA

Taiwan gets into the act, holding its first animal rights protest march this week. Some 150 protestors showed up. They chanted “Animals are not a number” and “Animals are our friends.” It was organized by Taiwan-based group, Vegan30.  The march was also attended by Taiwanese rapper Dwagie, who wrote the “Song of the Slaughterhouse” to raise awareness of the plight of farmed animals. (Plant Based News)

ON THE WAY TO YOSEMITE

Fresno is about to get its first vegan/vegetarian restaurant thanks to entrepreneur Tricia Louise Tracy. The eatery will be appropriately named “Love” and feature a mural by Idaho artist, Joshua Martel. It will be located out on “the 41.”  (It’s the highway which passes Fresno on the way to California’s national treasure, Yosemite.) (Fresno Bee)

ANIMAL PROTECTION FOR SHARKS!

While fishing is legal everywhere despite the cruelty implicit in the activity, three men have been charged with animal cruelty for dragging a live shark at high speed behind their boat. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission stepped up to investigate and charge them with two counts of aggravated animal cruelty after they published a video documenting the atrocity. “[The shark] is flipping and tossing around, said a representative of the Florida Aquarium. “I mean this wasn’t just hooked on a line and accidentally dragged.” When the federal government and state governments fail to protect animals through legislation, it’s great to see local communities and agencies take action. (New York Post)

MASSACHUSETTS TO FIGHT BIG AG

Thirteen states are suing the State of Massachusetts for their newly-passed law banning the sale of eggs and meat from companies that confine animals in “too-small cages.” (Of course at DxE we don’t like cages at all!)  Lawyers for the states are arguing that the Mass. law which is to take effect in 2022 violates the Interstate Commerce Clause.  (They also tried this in California after Cal passed the famous Prop 2 that banned extreme confinement for farmed animals. It didn’t work.) (New England Public Radio)

KENYA AND INDIA BEST THE US... BY A LOT

Out of 50 countries the United States ranks 49 in its protection of farmed animals. FORTY-NINE! Compared to such well-to-do countries as India and Kenya. (Not!) The ranking was put together by an animal rights advocacy group based in Australia, called Voiceless. “[The index] is an important tool in raising awareness of the global suffering of farmed animals,” said Odine Sherman, co-founder and managing director of Voiceless. For Americans, this means either it’s time to move or time to work harder! (Business Insider)  

MEAT TAX

Taxation on meat as a way to reduce greenhouse gas is on the table in Europe. A meat tax has actually been proposed in Denmark, Sweden and Germany, but, so far, has failed to pass. A giant investor group think tank based in the Netherlands released a report this week arguing, “...a consensus is emerging on two related issues: eating too much meat is bad for the environment and it is increasingly recognized as being harmful to health.”

A Dutch lawyer and professor Jonathan Verschuuren, agreed: “It seems inevitable that meat consumption needs to go down. The challenges are so big, and the changes that are needed so drastic, that all possible regulatory instruments have to be used, including a meat tax.”

Are you listening Berkeley and San Francisco?  (WPIX-TV)

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NEWS OF THE WEEK: Vegans to Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, High Suicide Rates Among Farmers & More, Dec. 2 - Dec. 11, 2017

NEWS OF THE WEEK:

Vegans to Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, High Suicide Rates Among Farmers & More, Dec. 2 - Dec. 11, 2017

By Leslie Goldberg

VEGAN FAMILY ROCKS!

Three generations of an all-vegan family are going to put themselves to the test – climbing one of the world’s toughest peaks, Mount Kilimanjaro, in March 2018. The parents, Sharon and Christopher Warner, will be joined by their parents and their kids on the first all-vegan trek up the mountain. The trip will be led by 21 year-vegan Mike Weinberg of Ultimate Kilimanjaro. This new project, dubbed Vegan Kilimanjaro, is “to prove the heights of achievement possible on a plant-based diet,” he said. So far, 16 people have signed up. You have to be “very fit.” (Plant Based News)

New book coming from HSUS’s Paul Shapiro

New book coming from HSUS’s Paul Shapiro

GETTING CLEAN

Congratulations to HSUS VP Paul Shapiro. He is out with a new book, “Clean Meat – How Growing Meat Without Animals Will Revolutionize Dinner.”  In an interview with Modern Farmer magazine, the author, who hasn’t eaten meat for 20 years, said he would have no problem trying the alternative meat. “I don’t have an aversion to animal products because of their molecular structure, I have an aversion because of the way in which they’re produced.” (Modern Farmer)  

THE HIGHEST SUICIDE RATE? FARMERS

Last year, a Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey found that folks working in agriculture, including farmers, laborers, ranchers and fishers, had the highest rate of suicide of any profession. The suicide rate for farmers is more than double the rate for veterans, Newsweek reported. A farmer/psychologist speculated in an article published in the Des Moines Register that the reason farmers experienced higher than average rates of stress is that they contend with more economic uncertainty and social isolation in their industry. However, he implied that exposure to animal cruelty inherent to the business might also be a factor.  (Des Moines Register)

SIA DOESN’T SEE A PROBLEM

Animal rights advocate and singer Sia will now be representing MAC cosmetics, a company which sells beauty products to China. Because Chinese law demands that such products be tested on animals before they may be sold in that country, the cosmetics will, in fact, be tested on animals even though MAC isn’t doing the actual testing. In defense, MAC says it doesn’t support animal testing and is trying to get China to change its policy. Many AR groups including PETA aren’t impressed. (Teen Vogue)

INSTAGRAM STEPS UP TO FIGHT WILDLIFE ABUSE

If things weren’t bad enough for wildlife, they are now being victimized by selfie-crazed tourists who want to get a picture of themselves snuggling a wild animal. Snatching animals from the wild and housing them in cages has become a business. But Instagram is trying to prevent it by notifying anyone who clicks on a hashtag such as #slothselfie what it’s really like for these innocent creatures. Viewers will get a message reading, in part: “You are searching for a hashtag that may be associated with posts that encourage harmful behavior to animals or the environment.” (National Geographic)

NOBODY LIKES TROPHY HUNTING

A recent survey shows the vast majority of Americans across the political spectrum don’t like trophy hunting. The poll was taken just two weeks after Donald Trump said he would continue the Obama-era ban on shipping animal body parts – trophy hunting booty from Africa to the United States. Some 78 percent of those interviewed said they didn’t like the imports versus only 15 percent saying they approved. (Humane Society)

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3 Ways You Can Help Us Save Tuesday's Siblings From Slaughter

3 Ways You Can Help Us Save Tuesday's Siblings From Slaughter

By Zoe Rosenberg

Tuesday was rescued from a slaughterhouse on November 28th following a mass sit-in the month before where activists inspired the owner to have a conversation with them. Tuesday was sitting in a cage awaiting her death, but we were able to negotiate her release. Unfortunately, we had to leave her brothers and sisters behind. Keep reading to learn how you can help us save them all.

Tuesday after her rescue, living the life she deserves.

Tuesday after her rescue, living the life she deserves.

1. Stop Eating Animals

Meat is the dead body of someone who wanted to live. Every time you sit down to eat, you can choose to take a life, or spare a life. Leave milk, eggs, and flesh off of your plate, and encourage others to do the same.

Stop eating animals sign

2. Take Action & Speak Up

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

-Martin Luther King Jr.

Each and every one of us has a moral responsibility to take to the streets and fight for animal rights. If we all join together and speak out against injustice, we can save more animals like Tuesday. Join us at our next slaughterhouse rescue, or sign up to take action in a city near you.

Join the animal rights movement

3. Sign This Petition

We have a dream of creating the first vegan city by 2025. Through our step-by-step plan, we we will eventually ban meat consumption worldwide. Please SIGN HERE to ask the United Nations to include compassion for animals in its upcoming Universal Periodic Review.

animal liberation now calf rescue

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When I Was Arrested for an Animal Rights Protest

When I Was Arrested for an animal rights protest

By Leslie Goldberg

Chickens crowded in a cage at an Oakland slaughterhouse. Photo by Michael Goldberg

Chickens crowded in a cage at an Oakland slaughterhouse. Photo by Michael Goldberg

To get arrested or not to get arrested, that was the question. Before we did the sit-in at the Oakland slaughterhouse in late October, Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) activists were asked by DxE organizers if we were willing to: 1) get arrested and get bailed out right away; or 2) get arrested and spend the night in jail; or 3) get arrested and spend three nights in jail; or 4) face felony prosecution and possibly go to prison under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA.)

Obviously folks who get arrested don’t usually get their choices laid out like that, but we planned to commit civil disobedience, meaning we were willing to protest in a way that might land us in jail. We understood that certain actions were likely to provoke certain reactions. If, say, we had decided to free 2,000 minks trapped on a fur farm, the possibility of ending up in a maximum security prison with a felony conviction under the AETA would be very real. However, a sit-in at a small Bay Area slaughterhouse would likely result in a fine or community service with little chance of significant of jail time.

But what if we did more than a sit-in? What if we removed (rescued?) a small number of sick and dying animals and took them to the vet? What might the consequences be for that? Would an officer or a court decide we were stealing? Or would we be able to make the case that removing an animal from a cruel situation is a perfectly reasonable and responsible thing to do, or even the only moral thing to do?

California passed a law recently giving citizens the green light to smash car windows to free a suffering and endangered animal from a hot car. What is the difference between a hot car and a filthy cage, crowded with not only other sick animals but dead animals and that afforded no water or food? So far, no court has decided.

Activist lawyer Steven Wise of the Nonhuman Rights Project has been fighting for more than 20 years for some species of animals to be granted legal personhood. Currently, under the law, animals are still considered things or property. But they are also not considered just property, as some animals receive some legal protections against certain kinds of harm. More and more people are sitting in prison today for cruelty to animals and yet people are also sitting in prison for trying to prevent animal cruelty. Society and, by extension, the courts have not resolved the apparent contradiction.

When I was a newspaper reporter, I happened to be sitting in San Francisco Municipal Court, for a story. I watched many cases go before the judge. Shoplifting, prostitution, possession of marijuana – those cases were being dismissed right and left. But drunk driving? It was a different story. Those charged with DUI, unlike the others, all had attorneys. And those convicted of drunk driving, which was everybody who came before the judge that day, were getting hefty fines and ending up with as much as 1-year county jail sentences.

The point is, to a large extent, the courts follow public opinion. Drunk driving didn’t used to be a big deal. Cops often just drove drunks home (especially if they were white!) That was before Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) galvanized public outrage. Under that public pressure, law enforcement and the courts started to change. Courts and cops got tougher (even on white people.)

Throughout the United States and also the world, communities are now demanding tougher anti-cruelty laws and tougher enforcement, particularly with regards to dogs and cats. The public is also becoming more concerned about endangered wildlife and more concerned about how animals raised for food are treated.

While we activists were cited (given tickets) for misdemeanor trespassing for our sit-in at the slaughterhouse, no charges were actually filed. Those activists who removed the quail, the lamb and bunny weren’t even cited. In the progressive Bay Area, there is little appetite for jailing animal-loving, non-violent protesters. Still, the slaughter of animals for food is legal in the Bay Area and most of the public doesn’t yet take seriously the harm caused by the exploitation of animals for profit.

Our movement is about getting folks to take this issue seriously. Our mass arrest of 23 activists did what it was supposed to do – garnered huge public attention. Both television and print covered us. Online, thousands and thousands saw for themselves the grim conditions inside a small, “family-owned” and “local” slaughterhouse.

Viewers also saw activists deliberately putting themselves at personal risk for their belief that this senseless killing of animals is absolutely wrong and must be stopped. Public demonstrations, disruptions and arrests are a way for the public to begin to understand that allowing the exploitation of animals ends up torturing and killing sentient beings who wanted to live, who deserved to live. The current dire situation for animals is urgent and serious. What we animal rights activists are doing is urgent and serious. As the band the Talking Heads once sang, “This ain’t no foolin’ around.”

 

Want to get involved? DxE is a grassroots network focused on empowering you to be the best activist you can be. Here are some steps you can take. 

  1. Sign up to our mailing list and share our content on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. 
  2. Join a local DxE community --or start your own!
  3. Take the Liberation Pledge. And join us in creataing a true social justice movement for animals.

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NEWS OF THE WEEK: Animal Rights Film For Kids, Illinois Pushes To Get Tougher On Animal Abusers & More, Nov. 20 – Dec. 1, 2017

NEWS OF THE WEEK:

Animal Rights Film For Kids, Illinois Pushes To Get Tougher On Animal Abusers & More, Nov. 20 – Dec. 1, 2017

By Leslie Goldberg

"Ferdinand," an animated animal rights film for kids about a gentle bull, will be in theaters Dec. 15.

"Ferdinand," an animated animal rights film for kids about a gentle bull, will be in theaters Dec. 15.

GETTING TOUGHER ON ANIMAL ABUSERS

Anything that limits gun ownership is fine with me. Currently, under federal law, individuals convicted of domestic violence lose their right to buy a gun. Now the Illinois State Crime Commission is pushing to extend that law to include people who are convicted of animal abuse. They point to studies indicating that violence against animals is a precursor to violence against people. (NPR Illinois)

 TIGER SHOT IN PARIS

A one and a half year-old tiger named Mevy was shot and killed after she escaped from a circus cage in Paris.  The “owner” of the tiger said that her cage had been cut open in a “malicious act.” The incident renewed calls by animal rights activists to ban the use of live animals in circuses. According to an article in rfi, the use of live animals in circuses has been banned in 29 countries and 63 French towns and cities. (rfi)

PRO-ANIMAL RIGHTS KIDS’ MOVIE COMING SOON

A California farm sanctuary, The Gentle Barn, has teamed up with 20th Century Fox and the plant-based beverage company Zevia to produce “Ferdinand,” an animated flick about a gentle bull torn from his home to be exploited by Spain’s bullfighting industry. Ferdinand’s cohorts, some goats, bunnies and hedgehogs, help him to return home. Gentle Barn founder Ellie Laks said her sanctuary is a “place of healing” and one “where children learn that even though we might look different on the outside, we’re all the same on the inside.

“My hope is that ‘Ferdinand’ will not only raise awareness but will bring about great change in the way people think.” ‘Ferdinand’ debuts in theaters nationwide on Dec. 15. You can visit the real Ferdinand at The Gentle Barn located 40 miles north of Los Angeles. (VegNews)

GREYHOUND RACING BAN PASSES FIRST HURDLE

Greyhound racing, a cruel sport that brutalizes dogs, may soon come to an end in Florida. A proposed constitutional amendment unanimously cleared its first committee in the state’s legislature. While plenty of dog lovers attended the committee hearing in support of the amendment, industry advocates were conspicuously absent. One of the commissioners noted:  “They’re not here because they know they could not win today. But they are not gone. They operate in the shadows." (News-Press)

EVEN CONVENIENCE STORES ARE STARTING TO GO VEGAN

While junk food has traditionally included animal “products,” you may start to see some changes at the neighborhood 7-11 and at gas station “grocery” stores. Market researchers are noting that more and more consumers want their candy 1) organic; 2) vegan; and 3) high in protein. And stop calling them “candy bars.” They are “nutrition bars.” (Convenience Store News)

SPEAKING OF JUNK FOOD

Pizza Hut is now offering vegan pizza in the U.K. Forbes magazine says: “This decision by Pizza Hut is huge because it will not only give vegans another option when craving something savory, but will also be celebrated by those who are lactose intolerant. It’s also great news for health-conscious consumers who are concerned about the link between dairy and heart disease.” Tell it Forbes! (Forbes)

 

 

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