Animal Rights Activists Wash Windows at SF Chipotle to Demand Transparency

Animal Rights Activists Wash Windows at SF Chipotle to Demand Transparency

Investigation of “Food with Integrity” chain reveals factory farm cruelty

  Photos by Direct Action Everywhere (DxE)

Photos by Direct Action Everywhere (DxE)

December 12, 2018, SAN FRANCISCO, CA – As seen on Facebook livestream, dozens of activists with the grassroots animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) -- including Rachel Ziegler, a former Chipotle manager who investigated a company chicken supplier after growing suspicions about company animal welfare claims -- participated in a theatrical window-washing demonstration to call for increased transparency regarding how the animals Chipotle uses for meat are raised and treated.

The activists held signs with photos of  sick and injured chickens taken inside farms which supply to Chipotle.

Ziegler says despite Chipotle’s reputation as an animal welfare leader, the company sources from many of the same conventional factory farms as other restaurants; farms where chickens have been found starving and suffering from injury and illness, farms with thousands of chickens crammed in filthy industrial sheds. The activists say Chipotle conceals its supply chain from its customers.

Ziegler is also one of 58 activists arrested on multiple felony charges for attempting to provide care to sick and injured hens at a Petaluma factory farm on September 29. The Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office has since filed seven felony charges against Ziegler, among others.

Activists including Ziegler say the charges are an abuse of the legal system intended to conceal systematic animal abuse at Chipotle and beyond, and will only embolden their continued demonstrations and investigatory work.

DxE’s work has been featured in The New York Times, ABC’s Nightline, and a viral Glenn Greenwald exposé, and DxE activists led the effort to ban fur products in San Francisco earlier this year. Activists have been subjected to FBI raids and felony prosecutions for investigatory work. Visit Direct Action Everywhere on Facebook and at directactioneverywhere.com. Follow us on Twitter @DxEverywhere.

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Wayne Hsiung and DxE Vision and Tactics

Wayne Hsiung and DxE Vision and Tactics

  Wayne Hsiung at a Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) protest

Wayne Hsiung at a Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) protest

Wayne Hsiung, the co-founder and lead organizer of Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), has studied social movements and what made them successful.  He and the other co-founders decided to apply the methods that worked to create social change in the past to the animal rights movement today. More specifically, Wayne Hsiung believes that animal rights activists should use the same type of tactics that were used by Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi.

Some of the tactics at first appear controversial.  Nonetheless, Wayne Hsiung believes that they’re effective for the same reasons they are so controversial.  In a blog titled “Why DxE brings the message inside,” Wayne Hsiung explains, “There has been an unusual sight over the past few months in fast food chains around the country and (increasingly) around the world. Animal rights activists, with DxE and otherwise, are taking their message inside the places that serve animals' mutilated bodies.  Why?

“Speaking out while others are eating, while not illegal, is a violation of one of our most important social traditions: breaking bread. When we sit down to eat, we seek nourishment, and comfort, and peace. We bond with those who are around us, and set aside our differences. Michael Pollan, among others, has written about the importance of “table fellowship” and how socially uncomfortable and alienated he felt in his brief spell of vegetarianism.  Pollan’s solution? Don’t just give up on saying anything about the ethical problems with eating animals; give up the vegetarianism, too!”

Unlike Michael Pollan, Wayne Hsiung suggests embracing the discomfort of challenging a social norm, though he admits the movement so far hasn’t quite agreed with this approach. He continues:

“The mainstream animal rights movement has, until this point, mostly accepted Pollan’s framing of the issue by admonishing us for speaking honestly about eating animals… while animals are being eaten.”

In response to this opinion, Wayne Hsiung lays out several reasons for the powerful and rising trend of disrupting business as usual:

“The first reason is that dissent is vital to achieving social change, and that dissent is only effective if it is powerful, confident, and yes, even (morally) disruptive… Passersby, customers, and even multinational corporations can easily dismiss and write us off, if we do not push our message in the places where it is most unwelcome. But when we transform a space where violence has been normalized into a space of dissent, we can jolt, not just individual people, but our entire society into change.”

The next reason Wayne Hsiung gives to support disruption focuses on storytelling:
“Going inside a restaurant, and breaking the rules of Pollan’s table fellowship, does not just convey a stronger and more confident message, however. It also feeds a cycle of viral storytelling that has been vital to every movement’s growth… a seemingly ordinary Tunisian fruit vendor, in defiance of social norms, doused himself with gasoline in front of the governor’s mansion and burned himself alive. People said he was “crazy.” But his small act of defiance, triggered a movement, the Arab Spring, that changed the face of the world.”

The final reason Wayne Hsiung outllines in this blog on disruption relates to the empowered networks that are created in the process:

“As social animals, we humans are heavily influenced by the behavior of our peers. And this as true of activists as it is of other people. So when we see a movement comprised entirely of passive action, we become passive ourselves. When we have a movement that socializes its adherents to “not make too much of a fuss about this,” then we will be inclined towards complying with the social norms of the day… Going into stores, rather than merely standing outside, is a way for us to send a jolt of electricity through our own movement. So many individual activists have shared with me the empowering effects of demonstrating in places where they had previously been scared to demonstrate, of speaking in places where they had been previously been scared to speak. And there have been powerful empirical demonstrations of this effect, even for viewpoints and movements that have little substance behind them, e.g. the Tea Party.  Speaking loudly and proudly in defiance of social convention, it turns out, inspires others to do the same. And that, perhaps more than anything else, is why we encourage our activists to step outside of their comfort zones,  past the boundaries of tradition and the table fellowship, and into the stores that our selling the dead bodies of our friends.”

In the blog entry I have summarized above, Wayne Hsiung explains that while bringing the message inside places of violence is indeed disruptive to the business and the individuals breaking bread inside, it is through this “morally disruptive” act that changed is sparked. More than a restuarant, what’s being disrupted in a social conception and deeply-held values. Wayne Hsiung argues that disrupting people’s routines gets them to think in a new way about animals, and from picking up the social cues of outrage from others, to even join the movement themselves.

The Secret to Dramatic Photo Editing

The Secret to Dramatic Photo Editing

The Secret to Dramatic Photo Editing

Carson Au, Official Photographer, Animal Liberation Conference

This is a guide for photo editing. If you are looking for tips on how to take better photos during an event, check out “TOP 5 TIPS FOR BETTER EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY.”

Prerequisite: This guide assumes you already have basic working knowledge with Adobe lightroom.  If this is not the case, I recommend watching a youtube tutorial such as this one.

Editing alone will not turn a bad photo into a good photo, but it could turn a good photo into a great photo.  I get a lot of complements and questions about the colours, “look” or ”filter” on my photos. I am writing this short guide to show how anyone can achieve those looks easily using Adobe Lightroom.  Some of these techniques can be transferable to Capture One or other photo management apps.

  1a. An unedited RAW file shot during the Official Animal Right March in SLC.

1a. An unedited RAW file shot during the Official Animal Right March in SLC.

  1b. By increasing the shadow setting, it brought out a lot of details in the shadows without losing the details in the highlights

1b. By increasing the shadow setting, it brought out a lot of details in the shadows without losing the details in the highlights

  1c.

1c.

  2a. An unedited RAW file shot during the Animal Liberation Western Convergence 2018 in SLC.

2a. An unedited RAW file shot during the Animal Liberation Western Convergence 2018 in SLC.

  2b. I was able to correct the colour temperature easily without losing quality because I was shooting RAW.

2b. I was able to correct the colour temperature easily without losing quality because I was shooting RAW.

  2c.

2c.

  3a. An unedited RAW file shot during the Animal Liberation Western Convergence 2018 in SLC.

3a. An unedited RAW file shot during the Animal Liberation Western Convergence 2018 in SLC.

  3b. Our eyes tend to focus first on the brightest part of a photograph. By applying negative vignetting, it focuses attention on the subject.

3b. Our eyes tend to focus first on the brightest part of a photograph. By applying negative vignetting, it focuses attention on the subject.

  3c.

3c.

  4a. An unedited RAW file shot during the Animal Liberation Western Convergence 2018 in SLC.

4a. An unedited RAW file shot during the Animal Liberation Western Convergence 2018 in SLC.

  4b. Where they are a lot of images in front of us, the ones with strong contrast tend to grab our attention first. By increasing overall brightness and lowering Blacks give an image a more dramatic look.

4b. Where they are a lot of images in front of us, the ones with strong contrast tend to grab our attention first. By increasing overall brightness and lowering Blacks give an image a more dramatic look.

  4c.

4c.

In order for these settings to be effective, you need to be shooting in RAW format, and then using Adobe Lightroom to edit.

What is Adobe Lightroom?

“Lightroom is photo management and photo editing, combined into a single tool. Unlike Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom is a non-destructive photo editor, meaning that you don't have to worry about that pesky ‘save as’ button.”

Timing is critical with activism photography.  The press team often requires photos right after an action to get them out to the media, so it is important to have a workflow where you can get your photos out quickly.

I tend to take a lot of photos at events, and with my limited computing power and storage, I only import the best photos.  My import ratio is roughly 1:8.

Having said that, do not only show your best 5 or so photos. You should aim to have a decent number of useable photos with variety, such as wide shots of large groups, small groups, and close ups of the speakers, organizers or other key people to tell the full story.

Once the photos have been selected, it’s time to import.  It is a good idea to apply your baseline settings to all the photos during import.  Baseline settings are settings you do to all your photos. This is my own baseline preset.  Feel free to try it out and adjust accordingly. Here is a helpful link on how to import a preset.

Basic

  • Highlights: -100 (this maximizes details in highlights)

  • Shadows: +100 (this maximizes details in shadows)

  • White: +52 (this sets the amount of highlights you want)

  • Black: -62 (this sets the amount of dark shadows you want)

*You should aim to have absolute white and black in all your photos, and maximum details in between

Detail

  • Sharpening Amount: 70 (this increases sharpness in the expense of noise)

  • Noise Reduction Luminance: 40 (this reduces grains for images shot with high ISO)

Lens Corrections

  • Remove Chromatic Aberration: Checked

  • Enable Profile Correction: Checked

Effects

  • Post-Crop Vignetting Amount: -17 (this darkens the corners and highlights the subject in the middle)

Once imported, quickly individually adjust as needed:

  • Temp

  • Tint

  • Exposure

  • Black

Bonus Tip: Select similar photos that require the same settings, and use the Sync Settings button to save time.

Once they are all adjusted, you can export them and have them shared to the press team to choose their favourites.  I don’t recommend doing too much cropping at this stage, because the media often needs to do their own cropping to fit the format they need, so it is best to leave the cropping untouched.

Creative Edits

Now that the first pass edits are done, it is time to take another look at your work. We will cover the following in detail in part 2 of this article.  Until then, feel free to play around with these settings on your own.

  • Review settings from initial adjustments (Temp, Tint, Exposure, Black)

  • Cropping

  • Vignetting (Effects > Post-Crop Vignetting)

  • Clarity (Basic)

  • Vibrance/Saturation (Basic)

  • Skin touch up (Brush and Mask)

  • Burning and Dodging (Mask)

“Babe” Actor James Cromwell Brings Dead Piglet Inside Utah Capitol Building to Protest Animal Cruelty

“Babe” Actor James Cromwell Brings Dead Piglet Inside Utah Capitol Building to Protest Animal Cruelty

“A question of heart” following exposé of Smithfield pig farm

(PHOTOS AND VIDEO)

  “Babe” actor James Cromwell speaks to activists and government employees inside Utah State Capitol Building.

“Babe” actor James Cromwell speaks to activists and government employees inside Utah State Capitol Building.

November 20, 2018, SALT LAKE CITY, UT – In a dramatic confrontation caught on Facebook livestream, nearly 200 activists with the grassroots animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) entered the Utah State Capitol building Tuesday to demand action from the governor and attorney general in response to alleged animal cruelty at Smithfield’s Circle Four Farms in Milford, Utah. The demonstration was led by renowned actor James Cromwell, who turned vegan after starring in the 1995 film “Babe,” and Wayne Hsiung, DxE’s co-founder. Other speakers included three children who pleaded with officers and the company to release a single baby pig and a woman who suffered from a life-threatening MRSA infection, an antibiotic resistant pathogen commonly found on farms.

Hsiung is awaiting trial on felony charges brought by Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, including racketeering, punishable by up to 60 years in prison, for a 2017 investigation of Circle Four Farms.

Cromwell held a dead piglet recovered from a Utah farm by anonymous whistleblowers. With about ten police officers on site, he spoke passionately of compassion for animals outside and inside the building before approaching first the office of the attorney general and then Governor Gary Herbert’s office.

"It’s a question of heart. Do you have the heart and compassion to see this creature as something viable in this world? Like any other sentient being?” said Cromwell. “Because if we don’t deal with this appropriately, we’re not going to deal with each other appropriately.”

Despite the demonstration occurring during business hours, activists could hear the door to the attorney general’s office being locked from the inside as they approached it. As Cromwell and many Utah residents stood by, Hsiung knocked on the door and requested that someone come out for discussion, but his requests were ignored, and the door remained locked.

Ten other activists also held dead piglets, found at a Utah farm. The group then proceeded to the governor’s office, which was guarded by a pair of police officers. As activists gathered outside the office, Michael Mower, Gov. Herbert's Deputy Chief of Staff, came out and spoke to them. Mower acknowledged activists’ animal cruelty claims and said he would bring their concerns to the governor.

Cromwell characterized the exchange as “shotgunning” -- assuaging activist concerns with polite rhetoric, but without meaningful discussion or action. “(Governor Herbert) follows the whims of his donors,” said Cromwell.

Pulitzer-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald published an exposé in June in The Intercept revealing financial ties between Smithfield and DxE prosecutions -- including Smithfield’s support of both the Republican Attorneys General Association, or RAGA, as well as the Republican Governors Association, during Reyes’ and Herbert’s 2016 campaigns.

Following the demonstration, Cromwell and the activists drove to Circle Four Farms. They demanded that management open the doors to allow activists to inspect conditions and provide care to animals in need. At least ten police officers were waiting when activists arrived. Smithfield staff did not meet or communicate with the activists.

“We’re simply asking for a conversation around Smithfield’s stated values of transparency and being a so-called ‘leader in animal care,’” said Hsiung.

DxE’s work has been featured in The New York Times, ABC’s Nightline, and a viral Glenn Greenwald exposé, and DxE activists led the effort to ban fur products in San Francisco earlier this year. Activists have been subjected to FBI raids and felony prosecutions for investigatory work. Visit Direct Action Everywhere on Facebook and at directactioneverywhere.com. Follow us on Twitter @DxEverywhere.

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Massive Farm Releases 100 Turkeys -- to Animal Liberation Activists Facing Felony Charges For Investigating Farm

Massive Farm Releases 100 Turkeys -- to Animal Liberation Activists Facing Felony Charges For Investigating Farm

Collaboration Intended to Demonstrate Holiday Spirit of Compassion between Norbest Turkey farms owner and DxE Activists

(PHOTOS AND VIDEO)

  Actor James Cromwell rescuing one of 100 turkeys alongside DxE founder and Norbest defendant Wayne Hsiung. Photo by Michael Goldberg/DxE

Actor James Cromwell rescuing one of 100 turkeys alongside DxE founder and Norbest defendant Wayne Hsiung. Photo by Michael Goldberg/DxE

November 20, 2018, MORONI, UT – In a shocking and heartwarming turn-of-events captured on Facebook livestream, hundreds of activists with the grassroots animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) -- including renowned actor James Cromwell and two activists awaiting felony trial for investigating turkey farming giant Norbest, LLC -- have rescued 100 turkeys in direct collaboration with Rick Pitman, who is now the owner of Norbest.

The slaughterhouse rescue is the result of an unlikely friendship between Pitman and Wayne Hsiung, founder of DxE and one of the felony defendants. Rather than continuing their fight in court, Pitman has stated that he does not support the charges, and the two sides decided on a dramatically different path this Thanksgiving: generosity.

Hsiung, Cromwell, and hundreds of animal rights supporters traveled to Norbest and provided vegan food to the employees of the plant and other locals. Pitman, in turn, released 100 turkeys to the activists in an act of Thanksgiving mercy. The birds were immediately taken to local sanctuaries, where they will live out their lives in happy families. Hsiung and Pitman showed that even adversaries can show compassion this holiday season.

This dynamic with Norbest stands in stark contrast to another DxE investigation in Utah, which also resulted in felony charges. After DxE released an investigation exposing horrific animal cruelty at Smithfield’s Circle Four Farms in Milford, Utah -- the largest pig farm in the US -- FBI agents raided farm animal sanctuaries searching for piglets removed from the farm by activists. Six activists were later charged with multiple felonies, including a racketeering charge, punishable by up to 60 years in prison.

The action was part of the Animal Liberation Western Convergence, which runs through Wednesday and has over 600 activists participating. On Tuesday, Cromwell -- who turned vegan after starring in the 1995 film “Babe” -- was again leading the way, this time it was a demonstration at the Utah State Capitol Building demanding that action be taken in response to animal cruelty at Circle Four Farms, and that charges be dropped against activists facing related charges. Cromwell then led activists to Circle Four where they planned to demand that management open the doors to allow activists to inspect conditions and provide care to animals in need.           

DxE’s work has been featured in The New York Times, ABC’s Nightline, and a viral Glenn Greenwald exposé, and DxE activists led the effort to ban fur products in San Francisco earlier this year. Activists have been subjected to FBI raids and felony prosecutions for investigatory work. Visit Direct Action Everywhere on Facebook and at directactioneverywhere.com. Follow us on Twitter @DxEverywhere.

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Following Mass Arrests at Petaluma Chicken Farm, Two Activists to be Arraigned on Felony Charges

Following Mass Arrests at Petaluma Chicken Farm, Two Activists to be Arraigned on Seven Felony Charges Each

Activists say Authorities Refuse to Act on Criminal Animal Cruelty

  DxE activist Rachel Ziegler is arrested after having a bird ripped from her arms by police.

DxE activist Rachel Ziegler is arrested after having a bird ripped from her arms by police.

November 9, 2018, Petaluma, CA–  Following a vigil and attempted rescue at McCoy’s Poultry Farm in Petaluma in which 58 activists with the grassroots animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) were arrested and charged on felony conspiracy, felony burglary and misdemeanor trespass charges, Rachel Ziegler and Jon Frohnmayer are set to be arraigned on seven and three felony charges respectively.

Both Frohnmayer and Ziegler attended October 3 “Coffee with a Cop” and “Coffee with an Animal Control Officer” events which were streamed live on Facebook. At those events Ziegler asked authorities why they removed a sick chicken from her arms, later killing her and eight other chickens the deputies also took from activists at McCoy’s on September 29 of this year. The two say that’s why they were singled out for serious charges, while the vast majority of others arrested have been offered diversions to potentially dismiss charges.

“Helping animals in need is the right thing to do,” said Ziegler. “But deputies killed the birds and targeted us for asking why.”


Investigators with Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) enter farms, slaughterhouses, and other agricultural facilities to document abuses and rescue sick and injured animals. DxE’s investigatory work has been featured in The New York Times, ABC Nightline, and a viral Glenn Greenwald exposé, and DxE activists led the recent effort to ban fur products in  San Francisco. Activists have been subjected to FBI raids and felony prosecutions for these investigations and rescues. Visit Direct Action Everywhere on Facebook and at directactioneverywhere.com. Follow us on Twitter @DxEverywhere.

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Recent Animal Protection Rollbacks

Recent Animal Protection Rollbacks

  Brown bears in Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.

Brown bears in Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.

Rolling back Alaska Wildlife refuge protections for mother bears and wolves

  • Trump signed legislation passed by Congress nullifying Obama-era regulations that banned cruel hunting methods in the massive Alaskan wildlife refuges.

    • These methods include shooting sleeping wolf families in their dens and trapping bears in steel-tooth traps.

  • “On 3 April 2017, President Trump signed H.J. Res. 69, a joint U.S. House and Senate resolution nullifying Obama-era regulations banning the use of “predator control” hunting methods on the 76.8 million acres of federally-protected national wildlife refuges across Alaska.”

  • Removing protections for animals suffering from lead bullets, allowing hunters to use them

    • President Trump’s Secretary of the Interior repealed a regulation banning poisonous lead bullets in hunting, citing respect for “gun owner’s rights.”

    • “It was intended to prevent fish, birds and other animals from being poisoned by the lead left behind in carcasses, on the ground or in water. Hunting groups rallied against the ban, calling it an "assault on gun owners' and sportsmans' rights."”

  • Rolling back WOTUS rule to protect factory farms

    • The US EPA has delayed by two years (with the intent to eventually destroy the rule) an Obama-era rule that allows the federal government to regulate small waterways, preventing the federal government from regulating water pollution from factory farms.

    • This is part of a larger push by animal ag to deregulate the industry.

  • Rolling back the Animal Welfare rule of the organics program

    • The USDA has cancelled a rule requiring that organic-certified animals have basic welfare requirements.

    • “The rule, created under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), would require [organic certified” poultry to be housed in spaces large enough to move freely and fully stretch their wings. Livestock would be required to have some access to outdoor space year-round. The USDA officially overturned the rule Monday, after delaying its implementation three times. It was first created in 2016 and built on seven years of deliberation.”

  • King Amendment

    • Republican congress members introduced a law that would have banned states from regulating animal products to “protect interstate commerce.”

  • NC Hog waste tort immunity statute

    • The North Carolina legislature passed a law making it harder for people hurt by factory farms to sue for damages by setting limits on how much affected people can collect.

      • Individuals can only collect damages up to the “fair market value” of the factory farm, regardless of how much they have been hurt.

  • Dairy pride acts

    • A Democratic Senator from Wisconsin introduced a bill that bans plant-based milks from using the word “milk.”

  • Meat pride acts (or equivalent, basically saying you can't label vegan protein "meat')

    • Missouri has banned plant-based meats from using the term “meat.”

2018.10.19 DxE Weekly News

2018.10.19 DxE Weekly News

Week of 10/12/18-10/19/18

Julie Waldroup

  DxE investigators, William Burkhardt and Lea Dubost, documented this dumpster of dead piglets at a farm in France.

DxE investigators, William Burkhardt and Lea Dubost, documented this dumpster of dead piglets at a farm in France.

Sorry, vegans. If you don’t eat honey, avocados might be off-limits, too.

Honeybees pollinate many of our favorite fruits and vegetables, but in much of the United States, there are not enough bees to do this job naturally or efficiently. So farmers employ a practice called migratory beekeeping: They truck hives into their fields, where the bees live for short periods to pollinate the crops during the plants’ most fertile window. PETA’s statement on migratory beekeeping: “Going vegan is about making kind choices that bring about positive change. Average shoppers can’t avoid produce that involved migratory beekeeping any more than they can avoid driving on asphalt, which has animal ingredients — but they can save nearly 200 animals’ lives every year by choosing plant-based foods instead of meat, eggs, and dairy ‘products’. Direct Action Everywhere was mentioned because it pointed out that a vegan diet is hardly “cruelty free,” in that it involves the exploitation of migrant fara.

In Cazals, an industrial breeding of pigs, the most important of the Lot, pointed out by a video

DXE investigators in France found and videotaped horrifying conditions at an industrial breeding lot located in Cazals. The practices are legal, but disturbing. They made a video to show the public to raise awareness.

L214 pins a poultry farm Aveyron in a shock video

France - The animal welfare association recently broadcasted a video denouncing the discovery of live chicks in rendering tanks in Mayran, which are tanks usually reserved for dead animals. The video has been circulating on social media and has been seen more than 160 000 times. Made by the group L214, animal protection association. They referenced DXE’s latest video about the French pig farms.







Hundreds “Haunt” SF Streets with Smoke Flares and Glowing Animal Masks, Stopping Traffic as They March for Animal Rights

Hundreds “Haunt” SF Streets with Smoke Flares and Glowing Animal Masks, Stopping Traffic as They March for Animal Rights

Artistic Demonstration Dramatized Animals Killed for Food “Haunting” the City

(FACEBOOK LIVESTREAM)

the haunting.PNG
smoke flare the haunting.PNG
  Photos by Michael Goldberg/DxE

Photos by Michael Goldberg/DxE

October 28, 2018, SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Over 200 activists with the grassroots animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), many wearing glowing paper animal masks, stopped traffic for more than 15 minutes at the busy intersection of Geary and Powell Streets in downtown San Francisco Saturday night, chanting their message to raise awareness of the 150 million animals killed and used for food each year for San Francisco alone. DxE says the action was meant to bring the animals’ voices back to life, amplifying their cries for all of San Francisco to hear.

The activists were also marching to honor the brief lives of animals such as Angel, a dying calf that DxE activists tried to rescue from a California farm just this past Sunday, but who was taken from the arms of an activist by police as she was being carried to safety. They also spoke and displayed signage in remembrance of 9 hens taken from activists’ arms and later killed by authorities during a September 29 demonstration at a Petaluma chicken farm which resulted in multiple felony charges for 58 activists.

The march has been viewed over 40,000 times on various social media platforms as of Sunday morning..

“San Francisco is a special place with special people,” said organizer Priya Sawhney, a human rights advocate who previously worked at San Francisco’s Tenderloin Housing Clinic. “It’s time it leads the way for animals just as it has for other marginalized groups historically.”

The march began at Union Square where activists blocked off the Geary/Powell intersection and using a mobile sound system delivered an animal liberation speech. They headed down Powell to Market and poured into Westfield San Francisco Centre, filling the food court, then heading up to the next level, before leaving the building and heading up Market Street, completely shutting down the right lane of traffic. The march ended in front of city hall with a “wish burning ceremony,” where the 200 activists lit small pieces of colored paper on which they had each written a wish for the animals killed for food for San Francisco.

Other highlights of the peaceful march included activists holding colored smoke flares and hundreds of white flowers, as well as emotional group singing. Activists say they hope San Franciscans will contemplate the millions and millions of lives that were needlessly lost in 2018 alone, and join them to help create a better world for animals.

DxE’s work has been featured in The New York Times, ABC Nightline, and a viral Glenn Greenwald exposé, and DxE activists led the recent effort to ban fur products in  San Francisco. Activists have been subjected to FBI raids and felony prosecutions for these investigations and rescues. Visit Direct Action Everywhere on Facebook and at directactioneverywhere.com. Follow us on Twitter @DxEverywhere.

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“They dumped a live baby in a graveyard!” - Three Women Charged with Grand Theft after Police Seize Dying Calf from their Arms

They dumped a live baby in a graveyard!” - Three Women Charged with Grand Theft after Police Seize Dying Calf from their Arms

Activists Say Repeated Animal Cruelty Reports at Massive Costco Supplier Ignored by Authorities

(VIDEO)

  Julianne Perry and Priya Sawhney stopped by a Sheriff’s deputy while attempting to rescue a calf left for dead. Both women were arrested.

Julianne Perry and Priya Sawhney stopped by a Sheriff’s deputy while attempting to rescue a calf left for dead. Both women were arrested.

  Photo taken during prior investigatory visit to the farm shows a pile of dead calves.

Photo taken during prior investigatory visit to the farm shows a pile of dead calves.

October 22, 2018, OAKDALE, CA – Three women were arrested Sunday on charges of felony grand theft and misdemeanor trespass at Ray-Mar Ranches, a California factory farm which supplies calves to Harris Ranch, and beef to Costco and In-N-Out Burger, for removing a living calf who had been dumped in a graveyard area of the facility.

The women, all volunteers for the grassroots animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), were participating in a vigil to shine light on the abuse of mother cows and their babies in the dairy and beef industries. The women say that after their arrest they became victims of sexual harassment themselves; their arrest was captured on Facebook Live.

The women can be seen in the video documenting calves inside small hutches with floors of hard wooden slats -- illegal confinement in the state of California. The women then see the “graveyard” area of the farm -- where dead animals are typically piled -- and notice what they initially think is a dead calf. When the calf twitches, the shocked women attempt to help. They are seen weeping as they attempt to carry the calf to receive veterinary care before they are stopped by Sheriff’s deputies, who shove the women and take the calf out of their arms. As the women are arrested, the dying calf is left collapsed on the side of the road.

“I could not believe what they were doing to us and that poor baby,” one of the women, Priya Sawhney, a Sikh immigrant and human rights activist, said. “We asked them to help, and instead they assaulted and arrested us.”  

The women say they were at the farm to document the commodification and sexual abuse of cows, including the use of rectal probes and forced artificial insemination on female cows. After birth, baby cows are taken from their mothers within hours. They are then forced into tiny wooden crates, which activists say is a clear violation of Proposition 2, the landmark animal welfare law passed in 2008. But instead of addressing the violations of law, Stanislaus County police charged the women with “grand theft” and subjected them to sexual harassment.

“When they shoved us down, my skirt was pulled up and shirt was pulled down. It exposed me,” Sawhney said. “They kept commenting on my clothes and body, but I couldn’t cover myself because I was handcuffed. I felt naked, but it helped me understand what these poor mother cows go through.”

Activists say this event is just the latest in a pattern of corporate and government misconduct in the face of animal cruelty. Activists have faced a series of felony charges across the country for attempting to alleviate animal suffering, including 58 activists charged with multiple felonies for attempting to give food and water to chickens from a Petaluma, CA farm on September 29. They cite the legal opinion of a criminal law scholar the UC Hastings College of Law establishing that citizens are legally justified in helping animals in need of immediate medical care.

“This is exactly like a dog in a hot car. A sick calf left for dead is of negative economic value to the farm,” DxE co-founder and former Northwestern law professor Wayne Hsiung said. “These unlawful arrests have nothing to do with the law and everything to do with protecting corporate profits by shielding consumers from the abuses at retailers like Costco.”

DxE is calling for government officials to take immediate action to provide transparency in the sale of meat and other animal products.

Activists have proposed legislation that would require signs be posted in stores and restaurants warning that the animal products sold there may come from factory farms where animals are mutilated and abused, may have been dosed with antibiotics or other drugs, and other relevant information such as the contribution animal agriculture makes to environmental pollution.

The “Right to Know” legislation has support among current and prospective legislators in Berkeley and San Francisco, where activists say it can help build a food system with integrity.

Activists with Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) enter farms, slaughterhouses, and other agricultural facilities to document abuses and rescue sick and injured animals. DxE’s investigatory work has been featured in The New York Times, ABC Nightline, and a viral Glenn Greenwald exposé, and DxE activists led the recent effort to ban fur products in  San Francisco. Activists have been subjected to FBI raids and felony prosecutions for these investigations and rescues. Visit Direct Action Everywhere on Facebook and at directactioneverywhere.com. Follow us on Twitter @DxEverywhere.

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