April-May 2015


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


  • BLOG UPDATE: Shrine Circus summary; animals win, lose in legislature
  • Another circus to end elephant acts
  • Lobster lib in Ireland
  • Raising vegan children  
  • What does Glenn Beck have to do with animal testing? (Hint: $$$)
  • Synthetic cadavers to the rescue…of animals!
  • Sufferin’ from the zoo news blues
  • Save a dog, get arrested…then get vindicated
  • QUICK LINKS: Just stuff, FYI, without all the blather
  • The Tail End: WAG IT!

DSCN1227BLOG UPDATE: “Shrine Circus 2015: ‘Turn and stand’ for animals”  – Twenty-two of us showed up 53 times over two days and five performances to peacefully advocate for circus animals. We ranged in age from 6 to 60+. We were educators, retirees, social service providers, scientists, and insurance claims examiners. We were called “f—ing dopers.” We were belittled and told to get a life. We were told we had courage. We were thanked. We even had something to cheer about! The story is here.

“Win a few, lose a few: Animal fighting, commercial breeding get another pass” – Montana’s biennial legislature wrapped up recently, and while animals dodged a few bullets (a rarity in Montana!), they also lost some biggies. Here’s a run-down of a handful of bills–ag-gag, commercial breeding, fighting, and a failed attempt to keep terrorists (gasp!) from rescuing neglected and abused animals. Look here. My thanks to the Montana Cowgirl political blog where it appeared as a guest post and reached many more Montanans. It was then picked up by the Flathead Memo.

african_elephantANOTHER CIRCUS TO END ELEPHANT ACTS: When we lined up outside the Adams Center to reach out to Shrine Circus-goers with a message of justice and compassion for animals (see blog item above), I heard from a couple of attendees as well as activists that “elephants are being phased out.” That’s true, of course, for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, who rocked the scene with their announcement back in March, but not so for many other, smaller circuses, including the Jordan World Circus–which had set up shop in the venue behind us. (Watch this ADI vimeo as handlers lose control of elephants performing with Jordan–these same animals are used for money-making rides! Would you put your child on one of these frustrated, depressed, had-it-up-to-here animals?!?)

Word is that the George Carden International Circus (now owned by the Springfield, MO Shrine) will end elephant acts (advocacy article; news article). While this is fantastic news, shouldn’t ALL animals be spared the cruelty of whips, bullhooks, electric prods, extreme confinement, forced performances of unnatural stunts, and crushing boredom and mental anguish? Yes. Definitely yes.

imagesLobster liberation day in Dublin – Animal rights activists liberated lobsters from a restaurant tank in Dublin–saving the sentient creatures from being boiled alive. “We liberated them openly, because we are 100% behind our belief that it was the morally correct thing to do. What we did was an act of compassion, and we have no regrets…. Would you boil a cat or dog alive?” asked one activist. The freed crustaceans were released into the ocean to live their lobster lives for another day. To learn more: Here’s a readable essay from Time Magazine‘s science department: “Do crabs feel pain? Maybe–and maybe we should rethink eating them.”

Raising vegan children from FOX News – Here’s a great little segment on raising vegan kids from birth. This isn’t about ethical veganism–it seems to be strictly health-related–but whatever. Just look at these healthy, happy kids! One little gripe–the dietician’s statement that “it takes a lot of work for parents to raise their children as vegans.” Well sure, it takes more work than purchasing a Happy Meal at the drive-thru or slopping together some processed junk from a box or bag! For anyone interested in exploring this topic further, see “Is veganism appropriate for kids?” from US News & World Report and “Feeding vegan kids” from the Vegetarian Resource Group. There’s lots more out there–just google for it.

imagesGlenn exposes taxpayer-funded animal testing industry –  The White Coat Waste Movement and conservative Glenn Beck have teamed up to expose the $12 billion a year TAXPAYER-FUNDED animal experimentation budget in Washington DC. You can watch a 2-1/2 minute trailer here, where you’ll learn that, according to the FDA itself, 92% of successful break-throughs for drugs tested in animals fail in humans. Think of how much more you’ll learn by watching the entire 22 minute episode of “Socialized Science: The animal testing debate.” People who know that testing on animals is wrong often have difficulty articulating that argument when confronted by someone who accuses “you care more about animals than humans.” This segment will put that argument to rest. And while it doesn’t delve into the ethical debate, the suffering endured by lab animals is apparent. Worth a 22-minute investment of taxpayers’ and animal advocates’ time.

Synthetic cadavers to the rescue…of animals! Are these exciting times, or what!?! A Tampa company, SynDaver, is making synthetic cadavers (article & video) that are so “disturbingly lifelike” that “some medical students actually become ill the first time they cut into one of the hyper realistic figures.” (Humorous aside: Why did the medical student fail cadaver lab? He just couldn’t cut it.)  Says SynDaver’s president, “Typically, medical devices are tested in sheep and pigs and goats and cats and dogs. This is good from an ethical standpoint cause it allows you to reduce or eliminate those kinds of tests.” And there’s more–all hail the LiverChip!  That’s chip–not chimp–and that’s the beauty of it. A 2-minute video explains this breakthrough in non-animal testing. And still more–cosmetics giant L’Oreal plans to create human skin with a 3D printer to eliminate animal toxicity tests! (L’Oreal…because bunnies are worth it!) 


Boxes & bags: How enriching.

Zoo news that’ll give ya the blues –  From Spain comes questions about the ethics of keeping primates in cages (hello?) after chimpanzees Adam and Eve make their bid for freedom. The story ends tragically for the couple. Next, questions about the efficacy of the oversight by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums: “Animal welfare groups say there have been dozens of instances of abuse and unsuitable conditions in recent years, claiming that WAZA hasn’t expelled or condemned zoos that break its code of ethics.” View a slideshow here. In Wisconsin, thieves have stolen four baby goats and a baby kangaroo from his/her mother’s pouch (news item & video) from a zoo that doesn’t exactly get rave reviews. So what’s wrong with zoos? They’re for people–not animals. Zoos drive animals crazy (the title of a Slate article). In my own Midwestern hometown, two Montana grizzlies compulsively pace and circle in a tiny zoo–victims of zoochosis. A 15-second video of this abnormal behavior links to a post on those bears in particular and zoochosis in general in “Grizzly Psychosis at the Zoo: There’s no place like home.”

Save a dog, get arrested – This story went viral, so chances are good you’ve seen it already (if you follow the Other Nations FB page, you’ve seen it). An Athens, GA man was arrested for breaking out the window of a parked car in which a small dog was suffering from the heat. The car’s owner was cited but insisted on pressing charges against the window-breaker (original story). In a follow-up story, the community has rallied around the compassionate man to pay any costs he might incur, and has also begun a discussion on changing state law. According to Dogs Deserve Better (an anti-chaining/tethering group that purchased Michael Vick’s dogfighting compound and turned it into a dog rehab facility), just 16 states have laws regarding animals left in parked cars. For ALL states’ animal protection laws, look to our heroes at ALDF.

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

  • “Jane Goodall backtracks on elephant sanctuary, says zoo is fine” – includes interesting comments posted to article.
  •  “Why female big-game hunters become the hunted online, in a way men don’t” – The Washington Post
  • “Animal welfare debate is alive and well in Viet Nam” – Huffington Post (the photo referenced in the article is here)
  • “Questions about food ingredients” from The Vegetarian Resource Group – a handy guide to things you might have wondered about.
  • “Models…pose seductively with a bear for a bizarre anti-hunting campaign” – Bizarre to the point of being disturbing (but nothing graphic). Includes video…from Russia, with love. Daily Mail.
  • “Poaching case puts coyote-killing contests in spotlight” – What’s lower and sleazier than participating in a killing contest? Not much–unless you cheat at it.
  • “Chimpanzees get their day in court” – that day is 5/27/15!!! article; additional links: Nonhuman Rights Project (leading the charge in court); The Last 1,000.
  • Animal rights editorial at Pakistani news site The Nation –  commenting on the recent Karachi mass poisoning of stray dogs (opens to photo of dead dogs)
  • At the Other Nations Facebook page: The last male northern white rhino; the price of a chicken dinner in 39 seconds; a quote for Endangered Species Day (5/15); a 2nd airline won’t ship trophy animals; pig wrestling in Indiana, and more.

tailendwagitThe tail end: WAG IT!