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Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.

Albert Schweitzer, French philosopher, physician, and musician (Nobel 1952)

Stop the blood sport of bear hunting

August 22, 2014
by

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

Karen Lyons Kalmenson



BACKGROUND | SOURCE COURIER-POST

Those who respect wildlife get tired of seeing smiling “hunters” posing with a weapon in one hand and holding up the head of a majestic bear with the other. In death, the bear shows more dignity than its cowardly killer.

Lynn Rogers, Ph.D., the leading black bear biologist in North America, concluded that black bears are extremely timid and pose little risk to anyone. Attacks by a black bear are so rare as to be almost nonexistent. A person is about 180 times more likely to be killed by a bee than a black bear and 160,000 times more likely to die in a traffic accident.

The New Jersey Fish and Wildlife agency propagates game species for its hunter constituents. It runs a blood “sport” killing business under the fraudulent cover of “conservation.”

Killing a black bear is a cowardly act. It’s killing for nothing more than sick kicks and “trophy” bragging rights.

Most bears are already starting hibernation and are defenseless. “Hunters” are even allowed to use bait.

Killing a black bear mom leaves her cubs to die of starvation. Don’t worry, the agency encourages “hunters” to shoot cubs, too. It’s an obscene and senseless act, and a reflection of the worst of human nature. If bears could shoot back, there wouldn’t be a hunter in the woods.

Please politely ask Gov. Chris Christie to cancel the bear hunt that begins Dec. 8. Email constituent.relations@gov.state.nj.us; write Office of the Governor, P.O. Box 001, Trenton, NJ 08625; call (609) 292-6000; or fax (609) 292-5212.

SILVIE POMICTER

Voice Of The Animals

President/Humane Educator

Chinchilla, Pa.

WHOM TO CONTACT

Email: constituent.relations@gov.state.nj.us

Letter: Office of the Governor P.O. Box 001, Trenton, NJ 08625

Phone: (609) 292-6000

Fax: (609) 292-5212

*Click HERE for free faxing from your computer.  No fax machine, credit card, or registering required. Just input the required fields and select “send free fax ow”. Please be certain to confirm you message by clicking on the link sent to your email address or else your fax will not be sent.  This is a great, easy, and free way to contact people.

SAMPLE LETTER

Dear Governor Christie,

It has come to my attention that New Jersey is reportedly considering allowing bear hunts. Although this hunt would be inherently cruel based on the premise alone, it is important to recognize it is based on erroneous information.

Please allow me to illustrate a few of these concerns. First, ecologically, populations will fluctuate according to conditions and naturally-occurring food sources; it is the interference of humans that causes imbalance. To blame and slaughter the bears for human encroachment and greed is both irresponsible and unjustified.

Second, killing bears artificially increases food supplies to the remaining bears, the consequence of which is increased reproduction and an ensuing greater bear population. In fact, studies have demonstrated that the continual cycle of seasonal hunting is responsible for a rebound, or larger populations, in subsequent years.

Third, there is no conservation efforts in place here, only the intentional propagation of bears for sport hunter constituents, a decidedly low percentage of voters. This is blood-shed, disguised as necessary control, when you can instead examine alternative, non-lethal options according to established protocols, which, when using these methods appropriately, have all proven successful in curtailing populations. However, if the state did not intentionally and artificially raise populations, such control would be unnecessary.

Fourth, cruelty abounds and is considered appropriate in these hunts, leaving bear cub orphans, of whom hunters are instructed to kill, and baiting tactics, a cowardly response for desperate hunters.

Fifth, this type of mass killing using such a brutal type of slaughter in such a central and visible location would certainly adversely affect both visitation and tourism; it would be financially detrimental to continue with such a cruel and unnecessary killing, and although I do not currently reside in New Jersey, I would be unwilling to consider it as a potential vacation destination if this bear hunt continues.

I know your time is limited and I want to thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.

NAME

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Take the mystery out of “mystery meat”

August 20, 2014
by

OC: Humans will forever attempt a disconnect between life and meal; they refuse to welcome the reality of their bloodlust and cruel dining experiences.  While not the most appropriate form to show animals as, these pictures seem to relate the meal with the animal part.  Is it gruesome?  Yes.  Is it a reflection of the true non-human animal?  Absolutely not.  ANIMALS ARE NOT FOOD.  But it may put a link between the distance of fiction and reality.  Nevertheless, regardless of fancy art and credible pictures, the only humane is vegan to prevent such horrific visions and “mysteries”.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Source TakePart

Nobody likes to see how the sausage—or really, any kind of processed meat product—gets made. Recently a Chinese factory that supplies McDonald’s and other chains made headlines when a video revealing workers’ unhygienic handling of meat surfaced. It posed an important question that most people would rather not dwell on: What are we really eating?

That inspired Hong Kong–based artist Peter Augustus’ Mystery Meat, a series of photographs that replaces familiar cuts of meat in classic American foods with the animal parts they come from.

“It is not meant to be repulsive,” Augustus said in an email. Instead, he intended to highlight the disconnect Western societies have with the food they eat and to spur the debate around the fillers and hormones used in meat.

Originally from Dallas, the artist became fascinated with Hong Kong’s meat shops, where pig heads, intestines, and eyeballs openly hang on hooks.

“As a foreigner from a major city in the West, most of us seldom see anything that even closely represents what kind of animals we are eating when we purchase it,” Augustus said. “It is always prepackaged, nice and neat, showcased in an air-conditioned supermarket.”

After finding a friendly butcher to help him with the project (“She thought it was funny”), Augustus shot the photographs using lighting and background that bring to mind the typical American diner or cafeteria.

“I hope the viewer takes into account what the natural form of their food looks like,” he said.

 

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URGENT: Speak Out Against Proposed Bobcat Fur Farm

August 18, 2014
by
Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

BACKGROUND | SOURCE PETA

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) is currently taking public comments on its Schultz Fur Farm Environmental Assessment, which recommends the permitting of a bobcat farm near Roy, Montana, where bobcats would be captive-bred and then sold to the cruel fur industry. Comments are due by August 29, so your voice is needed immediately!

In the wild, bobcats roam vast natural territories that can span 25 square miles, foraging for food, raising their young, and frolicking with family members. These animals are highly sensitive and elusive beings who avoid human contact at all cost. If Larry Schultz’s farm is permitted, bobcats would spend the majority of their short lives in small wire cages commonly seen in the unscrupulous fur industry. Intensive confinement prevents animals from being able to take more than a few steps in any direction or feel the earth beneath their feet. Many animals go insane under these conditions and will mutilate themselves and cannibalize their cagemates. Reportedly, bobcats have killed their young on Schultz’s fur farm in North Dakota.

Please urge the FWP to deny Schultz’s permit. Remind the agency that fur farms are cruel to animals and bad for the environment. And please forward this alert widely!

PETITION

Click HERE

WHOM TO CONTACT

Click HERE to submit your comments online

*Note: if mailbox is full, please try again later, thank you.

SAMPLE COMMENT

I’m writing with regard to the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ environmental assessment of the proposed Larry Schultz Fur Farm (d.b.a. Schultz Fur Farm), which would allow for captive bobcats in Fergus County to be sold to the commercial fur industry. I respectfully request that you deny this permit because of the cruelty and myriad environmental issues associated with such businesses.

In the wild, bobcats roam vast natural territories that can span 25 square miles, foraging for food, raising their young, and frolicking with family members. These animals are highly sensitive and elusive beings who avoid human contact at all cost. If Schultz’s farm is permitted, bobcats would spend the majority of their short lives in small wire cages commonly seen in the unscrupulous fur industry. Intensive confinement prevents animals from being able to take more than a few steps in any direction or feel the earth beneath their feet. Many animals go insane under these conditions and will mutilate themselves and cannibalize their cagemates. Reportedly, bobcats have killed their young on Schultz’s fur farm in North Dakota.

Fur farms also pose risks to the environment because of extensive water and air contamination that can lead to grave illnesses and death in humans, birds, fish, and other animals. Permitting such a farm would go against the FWP’s mission to provide “for the stewardship of the fish, wildlife, parks, and recreational resources of Montana, while contributing to the quality of life for present and future generations.”

Please deny a permit for the Schultz Fur Farm.

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Idaho Wants to Make Wildlife Killing Contests an Annual Event: Please Send Letter to Oppose

August 15, 2014
by

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons



SOURCE PROJECT COYOTE

BACKGROUND

You may recall this past December Idaho held a highly controversial killing contest targeting both wolves and coyotes. This was the first time wolves were targeted in a predator killing contest since their reintroduction.

We have just learned the killing contest sponsor, a group called Idaho for Wildlife, is seeking to repeat this contest over several years, this time not only targeting wolves and coyotes — with prizes awarded for killing the most coyotes and the largest wolf–  but also other predators, in a multi-year “predator derby” scheduled for the next five winters (with the next one scheduled for January 2-4, 2015).

This event would be damaging to the affected ecosystem, harmful to ecologically vital species, incompatible with scientific principles of wildlife management, and offensive to the concept of fair chase, ethical hunting.

Your comments are needed NOW. Urge the BLM to deny Idaho for Wildlife’s request for a special recreation permit that would allow contestants to kill predators on over 3 million acres of public lands in Idaho for the next five years.

The BLM is currently soliciting input from the public on the scope of what should be considered in an Environmental Assessment (EA). The issues identified for analysis in the EA include the impact on economic and social values, the impact on existing recreational uses, and the affect on wildlife habitat and threatened species in the targeted area. Please don’t miss this opportunity to voice your opposition (you do not have to be an Idaho resident to comment as this is federal BLM land- YOUR land!). 

WHOM TO CONTACT

Please act now! More info. here. Comments are due no later than August 18th and can be emailed to:

Liz Townley
Outdoor Recreation Planner
blm_id_predatorhuntderby@blm.gov

or sent to:

Liz Townley
Outdoor Recreation Planner
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Salmon Field Office
1405 Hollipark Drive
Idaho Falls, Idaho 83467

Please cc Project Coyote as we are tracking letters sent (info@projectcoyote.org)

Please include in your subject line Re: DOI-BLM-ID-I000-2014-0002-EA

Please also include your full contact information so your letter is counted in the official record and address the three areas this scoping document covers:
1- the impact on economic and social values;
2- the impact on existing recreational uses;
3- the affect on wildlife habitat and threatened species in the targeted area.

SUBJECT

Re: DOI-BLM-ID-I000-2014-0002-EA

SAMPLE LETTER

Dear Planner Townley,

I am writing to voice my opposition to  Idaho for Wildlife’s request for a special recreation permit that would allow contestants to kill predators on over 3 million acres of public lands in Idaho for the next five years.  Please do not provide these permits.  Allow me this opportunity to elaborate.

Killing contests have nothing in common with fair chase, ethical hunting. Technology, baiting, and “calling” place wildlife at an even greater and unfair disadvantage. Hunting in winter, when species can be easily tracked in snow and when most animals are working hard to survive contravenes the notion of fair chase. Killing predators, or any wild animal, as part of a ‘contest’ or ‘derby’ is ethically indefensible and ecologically reckless.

Bloodsport contests are conducted for profit, entertainment, prizes and, simply, for the “fun” of killing. No evidence exists showing that predator killing contests control problem animals or serve any beneficial management function. Coyote populations that are not exploited (that is hunted, trapped, or controlled by other means), form stable “extended family” social structures that naturally limit overall coyote populations through defense of territory and the suppression of breeding by subordinate female members of the family group.

The importance of wolves, coyotes and other predators in maintaining order, stability, and productivity in ecosystems has been well documented in peer- reviewed scientific literature. Coyotes provide myriad ecosystem services that benefit humans including their control of rodents and rabbits, which compete with domestic livestock for available forage. As apex predators wolves increase biodiversity and ecological integrity.

With fewer than 700 wolves in Idaho and poaching a common problem, allowing a killing contest of a species just off the endangered species list is reckless, indefensible and counter to sound science.

Economically, a live wolf is worth far more than a dead one. Wolf watching has brought in millions of dollars into Idaho and tourism is a major economic revenue source.

Wildlife killing contests perpetuate a culture of violence and send the message to children that life has little value and that an entire species of animals is disposable.

Wildlife killing contests put non-target animals, companion animals, and people at risk. Domestic dogs are sometimes mistaken for coyotes and wolves.

Although I do not currently reside in Idaho, I would be unwilling to visit should these revolting “contests” continue.

Thank you for your attention to this urgent issue.

Name, Address

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Animal Testing Part Three: The Human Cost of Animal Testing

August 13, 2014
by

Source Bite Size Vegan

Vegan Nugget #18: Animal Testing Part Three: The Human Cost of Animal Testing

The most perverse aspect of the animal testing debate

So we’ve looked into the scientific inefficacy of animal testing and how it has failed to produce any useful results for humanity. We’ve also taken a look into why it continues to be used even though it doesn’t work.

Today we’ll address yet another absurdity of animal testing: it not only doesn’t help but actually harms and, in many cases, kills humans. This is the most perverse aspect of the animal testing debate: it’s actually dangerous and fatal for humans, the very species the researchers claim to be doing all of this madness for…

Maybe you could give a shit about animals, and don’t really care as long as humanity is benefitting…well, animal testing is still something that you should be against!

The argument that animal testing is necessary for the sake of saving human lives is already ridiculous when one looks at the mountains of evidence of its absolute inefficacy.  Add on the fact that drugs approved via animal testing have gone on to seriously harm, maim, and kill people, and any argument for the continuation of animal testing becomes all the more ludicrous.

Some RESOURCES:

Theriogenology (vol 69, p 2)

Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology (vol 64, p 345)

http://www.safermedicines.org/index.php

http://www.safermedicines.org/articles.php

http://www.safermedicines.org/quotes/cancer.shtml

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Over a million pangolins slaughtered in the last decade

August 11, 2014
by
Karen Lyons Kalmenson

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

Source Focusing on Wildlife

All pangolins now threatened with extinction, and two considered Critically Endangered. One of the world’s most bizarre animal groups is now at risk of complete eradication, according to an update of the IUCN Red List. Pangolins, which look and behave similarly to (scaly) anteaters yet are unrelated, are being illegally consumed out of existence due to a thriving trade in East Asia. In fact, the new update lists all eight pangolin species as threatened by extinction for first time, with two—the Chinese and the Sunda pangolin—now considered Critically Endangered.

“In the 21st Century we really should not be eating species to extinction—there is simply no excuse for allowing this illegal trade to continue,” said Jonathan Baillie, Conservation Program Director at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and co-chair of the IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group, which was established in 2012.

“All eight pangolin species are now listed as threatened with extinction, largely because they are being illegally traded to China and Vietnam,” Baillie added.

Found in Africa and Asia, the world’s eight pangolin species represent some 70 million years of unique evolution. In fact, these animals—which are the only mammals to sport proper scales—are so distinct they have their own Order: Pholidota. In addition to their tell-tale scales, pangolins have a long tongue for eating insects, impressive claws for digging into termite mounds, and an odorous anal gland for repealing predators. But, weirdly, pangolins are most closely related to carnivores.

Yet pangolins have for many years been the most-trafficked animal on the fact of the Earth. In fact, the Pangolin Specialist Group hosted by the ZSL estimates that more than a million pangolins have been stolen from the wild in the past ten years alone. In fact, the group estimates that the Sunda pangolin populations has fallen by up to 80 percent over the past 21 years.

Pangolin scales are used in traditional medicine while their meat is increasingly eaten as a mark of status in countries like China and Vietnam. However, like rhino horn, there is no evidence that pangolin scales have any curative properties. The trade has become so unsustainable that researchers now fear traders are moving from largely-depleted populations in Asia to source pangolins from Africa. The four species in Africa are already threatened by bushmeat hunting for local meat consumption.

Along with the clarion call about pangolins slipping closer to extinction, the Pangolin Specialist Group is also announcing a conservation action plan, dubbed “Scaling up pangolin conservation.”

“A vital first step is for the Chinese and Vietnamese governments to conduct an inventory of their pangolin scale stocks and make this publicly available to prove that wild-caught pangolins are no longer supplying the commercial trade,” said conservationist Dan Challender, a Co-Chair of Pangolin Specialist Group.

Most important, says the group, is reducing demand for this imperiled group.

The World’s Pangolin Species

Asian species

Indian pangolin (Manis crassicaudata), Endangered (previously Near Threatened)

Philippine pangolin (Manis culionensis), Endangered (previously Near Threatened)

Chinese pangolin (Manis pentadactyla), Critically Endangered (previously Endangered)

Sunda pangolin (Manis javanica), Critically Endangered (previously Endangered)

African species

Giant pangolin (Manis gigantea), Vulnerable (previously Least Concern)

Ground pangolin (Manis temminckii), Vulnerable (previously Least Concern)

Tree pangolin (Manis tricuspis), Vulnerable (previously Near Threatened)

Long-tailed pangolin (Manis tetradactyla), Vulnerable (previously Least Concern)

See More: Facebook African Pangolin Working Group

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Animal “personhood” rights?

August 8, 2014
by



This short documentary follows the lawyer Steven Wise’s effort to break down the legal wall that separates animals from humans.

Video Credit By Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker on Publish Date April 23, 2014.

Op-Docs

By CHRIS HEGEDUS and D. A. PENNEBAKER

How does a thing become a person? In December 2013, the lawyer Steven Wise showed the world how, with a little legal jujitsu, an animal can transition from a thing without rights to a person with legal protections. This Op-Doc video follows Mr. Wise on his path to filing the first-ever lawsuits in the United States demanding limited “personhood” rights for certain animals, on behalf of four captive chimpanzees in New York State.

Mr. Wise (who is also the subject of The New York Times Magazine’s cover story this Sunday) has spent more than 30 years developing his strategy for attaining animal personhood rights. After he started his career as a criminal defense lawyer, he was inspired by Peter Singer’s book “Animal Liberation” to dedicate himself to justice for animals. He helped pioneer the study of animal rights law in the 1980s. In 2000, he became the first person to teach the subject at Harvard Law School, as a visiting lecturer. Mr. Wise began developing his animal personhood strategy after struggling with ineffective welfare laws and regulations that fail to keep animals out of abusive environments. Unlike welfare statutes, legal personhood would give some animals irrevocable protections that recognize their critical needs to live in the wild and to not be owned or abused.

The current focus of Mr. Wise’s legal campaign includes chimpanzees, elephants, whales and dolphins — animals whose unusually high level of intelligence has been recognized by scientific research. The body of scientific work on chimpanzee cognition, in particular, is enormous, and scientific testimony is crucial to Mr. Wise’s legal arguments. His team, the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP), selected as its first plaintiffs four chimps living in New York: Tommy, Kiko, Hercules and Leo. He chose these animals in large part because New York’s common laws are favorable to habeas corpus lawsuits, and because there are great ape sanctuaries that could accommodate them.

This fall, the cases will be likely to go to New York’s intermediate appellate courts. If Mr. Wise wins, he will have successfully broken down the legal wall that separates animals from humans. His plaintiffs, the four chimps, will be deemed legal persons and relocated to outdoor sanctuaries around the United States. In many ways, the lawsuits have already won: They have brought animal personhood to the forefront of the conversation surrounding our society’s relationship with animals.

This Op-Doc is adapted from a feature-length documentary, “Unlocking the Cage,” which we are producing about Mr. Wise. We hope these works will inspire people to think differently about animals and why we should protect them.

________________

D. A. Pennebaker has directed more than 30 feature-length documentaries, including “Dont Look Back” and “Monterey Pop.” In 2012 he received an Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement. Chris Hegedus has directed films for nearly four decades. She won the 2002 D.G.A. award, and, with Mr. Pennebaker, received an Academy Award nomination for “The War Room.”

Op-Docs is a forum for short, opinionated documentaries, produced with creative latitude by independent filmmakers and artists. Learn more about Op-Docs and how to submit to the series.

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