October 2014


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


  • Blog updates: lions, bears, 8th graders!
  • On branding cows & humans; on Arabs & Israelis uniting
  • Where’s mom? Cruel, redundant research in WI (video spoof)
  • Changing things: Root-striker…or branch-hacker?
  • Thanksgiving meal tips: Gobble with gusto & clear conscience!
  • Quick links
  • The tail end: Wag it!

the-effects-of-lion-trophy-hunting-on-lion-populations-1“Love it…list it…stuff it? African lion listing open for public comment” –  
Without a hint of irony, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service proposes to list the African lion as threatened under the Endangered Species Act while simultaneously regulating the importation of lion trophies (thereby enabling lion hunting by Americans to continue). Huh??? Check it out and have your say…we provide the links. 
“No country for old bears” – 
An elderly bear encroaches on private property at the edge of Yellowstone, within whose boundaries he’s lived without incident the past quarter century. But a couple of transgressions prior to that are enough to seal his fate as a repeat offender, and he is “euthanized.” Find it here.
“Cosmetics testing on animals: Do you know as much as an 8th grader?” These kids had done their homework! It was a pleasure to spend an hour with them in their Missoula, MT classroom recently; learn what we talked about…and what they already knew.

Animal rights: Branding humans, bringing Arabs & Jews together – 269 Life is a community that takes its name from the number branded on a male calf born on (and saved from) an Israeli dairy farm. “By branding his number on our bodies, we show our solidarity with the victims of the animal holocaust all around the world, remembering to never forget.” And indeed, while some opt for tattoos, others have the number branded into their flesh (video–be forewarned). Recently, in Haifa, Israel, Arabs and Jews came together with one voice to call for justice for animals. You gotta love that! View their demonstration here. (For more on branding of nonhuman animals, see “Cattle branding: Tradition without a heart,” a post written for Britannica’s Advocacy for Animals.)

fig14Mom? Mom? Mom? – If you’ve been on another planet, under a rock, or just not connected to the interwebs, you might have missed the uproar caused by cruel and archaic maternal deprivation studies in the works at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, wherein baby monkeys, separated from their moms, will be terrorized with “anxiety-inducing experiments” (snakes and such) and subsequently killed for brain analysis. Hello, what century is this?!? Our heroes at Animal Legal Defense Fund are suing the university for release of records pertaining to this research scam. Watch this spoofy but for-real short video (2 minutes–rated a mild R for language) about the experiments and their 1950s genesis–when both human and monkey infants were used. Here’s the upshot: “A growing consensus has criticized these tests for intentionally causing needless suffering of infants in order to study what has already been conclusively proven: that traumatic injury and the psychological experience of terror changes brain matter” (source). Petition-signers can share the outrage here. (Pictured: Terrified infant clings to surrogate in original study)

gv8aChanging things for animals –  What changes things for animals? Some go the media stunt route…naked (or semi-naked) humans covered in fake blood lying in London’s Trafalgar Square. Does that sway people to embrace veganism? Others sit down on pavement to blockade cattle carriers delivering their “goods” to the slaughterhouse (video). Even though the cattle were delivered and slaughtered anyhow, did that act of civil disobedience matter? If the pen is mightier than the sword, will the endless stream of words from an endless stream of bloggers produce change? Searing your own arm or thigh with a branding iron? Holding signs and distributing literature outside the circus? Politics? (Maine voters just rejected efforts to end bear baiting, hounding, and trapping.) Engaging people on social media? I don’t have the answers, but do believe that some actions are more effective than others, and it behooves us as activists to thoughtfully examine the effect we’re having. I can’t shake this Thoreau quote: “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” Are we root-strikers or branch-hackers? Can branch-hackers, just by sheer volume, make a difference? I hope so!

Thanksgiving meal tips: Gobble with gusto & clear conscience! Some say that turkeys are really just cats with feathers (e.g., they purr! plus 4 other reasons) and, of course, you wouldn’t eat your cat. (Well, OK, you could…in Pennsylvania, as Stephen Colbert reports…but that’s another story!) If you’re planning to go all compassionate this Thanksgiving, check out these 32 vegan recipes perfect for a day of cruelty-free thanks (engage keyboard drool shield first); Gentle Thanksgiving on Pinterest; and Compassionate Holidays. Below is a video I’ve posted in years past, but here it is for wanna-bes, newbies, and anyone who wants to enjoy it again. Find the associated website here.

quicklynxQUICK LINKS: Just stuff FYI, without all the blather!

  • Eight more lives left: Cat saved with blood transfusion from dog, here. Hmmm–Friskies…or Alpo?
  • African lions Denny & Pfeiffer (devoted siblings) both died recently at Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS). Despite illness, inbreeding issues, and botched declawing, PAWS sanctuary gave them happy lives. Story & video here.
  • Project Censored: The news that didn’t make the news (numbers 1 and 16 deal with animal issues; anyone still eating red meat…#16 should cure that!). Click here.
  • Animals and the Buddha – a 50-minute documentary from Dharma Voices for Animals. Nicely done.
  • From our Facebook page: “Eaten Alive” on Discovery Channel–a disgusting ploy to gain ratings by exploiting wildlife. Watch a preview here. Charges of animal cruelty have been leveled, as well they should.
  • AWESOME Jackie Chan public service announcement for rhinos–here.

tailendwagitThe tail end: Wag it!

  • Interspecies friendships (Better Together) – here
  • Pillow fighting, cat-style – a nicely-edited video
  • “Binky” (verb): When bunnies jump for joy (wait for the grand finale)!
  • Check our Facebook page for these squirrelly items: Squirrel and cat playmates roughhousing on roof; paddle boarder rescues squirrel stranded on rock in rushing water.