April 2014


“…living by voices we shall never hear” (see our slideshow)


  • Blog updates: rez dogs; trophy hunt pics & comments
  • “Animals are persons too” – a NY Times op-doc
  • Two critical “awareness” days, now past
  • Hot-iron branding of…sea lions (?!?) continues
  • I didn’t eat HOW many animals?!? Try this calculator!
  • A reminder from a “Big Bang Theory” actor  
  • Quick links: Just FYI, without all the blather
  • The tail end: Wag it!

originalBLOG UPDATES:  “A (trophy animal) picture is worth a thousand (angry, violent) words” – This piece struck a nerve. Ironically, many who encountered it on one of the many Facebook pages where it was shared didn’t bother to read the post–they just vociferously reacted to the picture of a trophy hunter with her dead quarry…which, well, kinda proved the point. Some agreed that vicious responses achieve nothing, while others vehemently defended their right to respond with verbal violence and sexism. See what you think. If you care to, please share your thoughts; use the link at the end of the post, which takes you to the site where I guest blog. 

“Someone else’s trash: Rez dogs saved; rez dogs lost” – A year after their rescue, puppies left to die in a Montana dumpster are reunited, now accompanied by loving guardians, the reunion documented in the newspaper. It called up a sad memory from my teaching days in the Southwest and prompted further investigation into the tragedy of suffering, stray dogs on Indian reservations.  Find it at our blog.

chimp-CC-Dhammika-Heenpella-article-image2-300x240“Animals are persons too” –  As you likely know, “person” as a legal term defines a human being…and a corporation (visit Reclaim Democracy! for more on corporate personhood). Where does that leave sentient nonhuman animals? Nowhere–with no rights. Because we are entering ground-breaking territory, do yourself a favor and set aside 6-1/2 minutes to watch a recent New York Times op-doc (an editorial in video form) as lawyer Steven Wise of the Nonhuman Rights Project begins to “break down the legal wall that separates animals from humans.” The backstory about Tommy, the imprisoned, former circus chimp who’s now petitioning the court via Wise, is in the New York Times magazine. Excerpt: 

Wise has devoted himself to subverting that hierarchy (animals as mere property) by moving the animal from the defendant’s table to the plaintiff’s. Not in order to cast cognitively advanced beings like Tommy in a human light, but rather to ask a judge to recognize them as individuals in and of themselves: Beings entitled to something that, without us, no wild animal would ever require — the fundamental right, at least, not to be wrongfully imprisoned. 

baby-dohTwo important “awareness” days: Alas, they are past – On second thought, let’s say they are passed. One is dedicated to the abundant and foul, gaseous emissions your canine companion produces (April 8th – click here); the other is for catsters: Hairball Awareness Day (last Friday in April). Apologies for not passing this info along in a timely manner (doh!), but there’s always next year.

bonnyvaleHot iron branding of sea lions continues – We mentioned this travesty a couple years ago…and now…it continues. Sea lions–guilty of (ahem) eating fish–are being killed. First, however, they are being branded with hot irons–which surely doesn’t hurt. (Watch a video of the branding–note the flesh actually flaming as the fourth brand is applied.) Why this hideous cruelty, you ask? 

In March 2008, fish and wildlife agencies in Washington, Oregon and Idaho received federal authorization to remove California sea lions that have been observed preying on salmon and steelhead below Bonneville Dam. The federal authorization allows wildlife managers to use lethal measures to remove sea lions that meet specific criteria, although the states’ first priority has been to relocate them to zoos and aquariums. Through 2013, wildlife managers removed a total of 58 California sea lions – 13 of which were sent to zoos and aquaria – that met the federal criteria. ~OR Dept. Fish and Wildlife (includes summaries, FAQs, and more; here)

State and federal biologists estimate that California sea lions have eaten between 1.5 to four per cent of returning adult salmon at the dam each year for the past eight years. Meanwhile, commercial, tribal and recreational fisheries are allowed to take up to 17 per cent.  ~ See “Protector of the dammed: Sea Shepherd activist aids Columbia River sea lions” here.

The dams kill still more salmon, along with pollution and invasive species (source – plus more photos). Two more links: Sea Shepherd myths vs. facts, here (good resource); and the Sea Lion Defense Brigade on Facebook, where you’ll find this call to action asking you to contact NOAA on behalf of the sea lions.


Click to view

Calculator: I didn’t eat HOW many animals? – Ran across this “vegetarian calculator” the other day and plugged in my numbers: I’ve been a vegetarian since 1985 (went vegan several years ago); that’s 29 years. My score: I saved 5858 animals and enjoyed the benefits of not eating 5655 pounds of meat! Oh, and there’s more: pounds of CO2 not released into the atmosphere because of my diet? 46,654. Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about! Check it out for yourself, here. (Want more? Here’s a footprint calculator!)  Click the image to watch The Simpsons season 7, episode 6: “Lisa the Vegetarian.” (Or watch it here.)

whitebunnies“Big Bang Theory” actor Kunal has a message:  I am proud that in England, where I was born, and in India, where I grew up and have lived for many years, animal testing for cosmetics has already been banned. The U.S now has the opportunity to follow suit and I urge everyone to get behind the Humane Cosmetics Act.”  The full Huffington Post article on this obviously awesome guy (I admit to never having seen the show) reveals that he’s the second cast member to go to bat for lab animals abused for cosmetics testing.  The article offers links to the Humane Cosmetics Act; you can also use the info on our Act! page to read the bill’s text and contact your U.S. House representative.

quicklynxQUICK LINKS: Just stuff FYI without all the blather

  • What is a “phigeon shoot”? Find out here. Note that the “contest” scheduled for this past March was cancelled thanks to SHARK.
  • The TODAY SHOW anchors can’t tell the difference between real (dead) chicken and new Beyond Meat chicken–watch for yourself.
  • Keystone XL Pipeline: 4 animals & 3 habitats in its path, here.
  • Evidence against trophy hunting mounts, here.
  • “Influence of enclosure size on the distances covered and paced by captive tigers (Panthera tigris)” – Newly-published research; abstract only is at no cost.
  • Scroll around at our Other Nations Facebook page for other items, including a short video on talented chicken Little Miss Sunshine (posted 4/4) and a photo of senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee posing with their trophy purchase– “a little shopping for the office” (posted 4/24). You don’t need a FB account to access it.

tailendwagitThe tail end: Wag it!

  • “My dad with our dog” – A man with Alzheimer’s regains some of his speech while petting the family’s dog…a sweet video.
  • “Edgar’s Adoption Day” – another touching video about a dog rescued from the trash
  • “Dogs annoying cats with friendship” – If you live with both dogs and cats, you’ve seen this behavior play out (video)!
  • And these lovely items from our Other Nations Facebook page: A precious piglet enjoys a belly rub (look for a 4/14 post); 100 retired lab chimps see they sky for the first time–this will bring tears to your eyes (posted 4/25).