October 2011

“…living by voices we shall never hear.”


  • Feral cats: The government fix–or the humane fix?
  • Smart collars: Taking the wild out of wildlife–and putting it on Facebook?
  • Chickens in fashion: The good, the bad, & the baffling
  • National primate liberation week
  • Going vegan with Ellen (& friends)
  • Put on a happy face: Do animals smile?
  • Leave YOU smiling!

National Feral Cat Day is 10/16
An invasive plague to be exterminated, or a domesticated companion to whom we have a responsibility? Learn which federal agency is using citizens’ tax dollars to undermine humane community trap-neuter-return programs…it’s in our blog.

Taking the wild out of wildlife with technology
New “smart collars” are poised to unlock the mysteries of the wild, but is this what we really want? Though animals have no say in this latest intrusion into the intimate details of their daily lives, rest assured that predicting wild behavior will change both their lives and ours. Learn more at our blog.

Little Hen Rescue - UK - click

Chickens in fashion: The good, the bad, and the baffling
The good: You know how it is–you’re wandering the world wide web and you land in the most unlikely places… like a Canadian woman’s blog, where you learn about sweater-making efforts for chickens rescued from factory farms. You already know what deplorable conditions both layers and so-called broilers live in–their skin bare and raw from extreme confinement in battery cages and exposure to ammonia from their own waste. Those fortunate enough to survive and find compassionate rescuers are now finding themselves bedecked in warm, protective sweaters while their skin heals and feathers return. Visit Britain’s Little Hen Rescue for a page of pictures; visit the Canadian blog for a 1-1/2 minute video (at the time of this writing, the video link at Little Hen Rescue didn’t work). Now doesn’t this restore some of your lost faith in humanity?!? Bee-yok buk buk buk!

The bad: The urban chicken movement is in full swing and the craze has not missed nearby Missoula. If there’s a down-side that hasn’t yet been discussed much, you’ll find it here in a piece from the Animal Place sanctuary (Grass Valley, CA). An excerpt:

Two weeks ago, we received a disturbing phone call. A man had found four of his roommates roosters in the garbage. Two of them were still alive. The woman had bought day-old chicks from a hatchery, four ended up roosters. When neighbors complained, instead of contacting the animal shelter or trying to find a home for them, the woman tried to break the animals’ necks. She failed on two of them.

The baffling: It’s hard to even know what to say about this, other than it features outfits and, um, diapers. Includes slideshow.

National Primate Liberation Week starts 10/15
“Rosie was chemically immobilized 99 times by researchers. Katrina has suffered through at least 36 liver biopsies and has been infected with hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV. Levi has high blood pressure and heart disease, placing him at risk of heart failure and sudden cardiac death.”


SAEN photo

And the research continues on these and thousands more like them. According to Dr. Neal Barnard, founder of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, “Chimpanzee experiments are not necessary to test new HIV vaccines. They aren’t needed to create a new therapeutic for hepatitis C. Or to develop monoclonal antibody therapeutics. Or to create a malaria vaccine. Or to advance biodefense work.”

Visit Stop Animal Exploitation Now!/SAEN (“exposing the truth to wipe out animal experimentation”) for more on National Primate Liberation Week. Read about recent allegations of abuse at Princeton’s Primate Neuroethology Lab and view undercover whistleblower photos obtained by SAEN.

Follow the Great Ape Protection & Cost Savings Act of 2011 (HR 1513) here. It was introduced in the House Committee on Energy & Commerce in April and referred to the Subcommittee on Health. Seventy-nine cosponsors have signed on; view them at the link provided. If your representative to the House isn’t among them, consider contacting him/her. The act prohibits the conducting of invasive research on great apes. To read the full text, visit Thomas and search by bill number or title. Finally, Scientific American calls for an end to chimp testing here. It’s only a start…but it’s a start.

“As time goes on, support for ending the use of chimpanzees in invasive research is growing. Let’s keep the pressure on to make this a reality. And let’s also remember the millions of other animals, sentient or not, who are not protected from extreme abuse.”  Marc Bekoff writing in Psychology Today

Send a free SAVE THE CHIMPS e-card:  Birthday, get well, life is sweet, reach for the heights, Mom’s Day, Merry Chimpmas, and more.

Going vegan with Ellen (DeGeneres): Visit her here. Can you name 43 additional vegan celebrities? Get the skinny here.

Put on a happy face: Do animals smile?
Granted, billions of animals don’t have any reason to smile (e.g., see monkey photo above). Yet scientists tell us

“…it is widely understood…that mammals do experience primary emotions such as fear, sadness, anger, and happiness and even some secondary emotions like jealously and embarrassment—and they communicate them. (Prof. Nicholas) Dodman says that dogs even have a sense of humor and laugh with a kind of huffing sound.” Yup. All those times you suspected your dog was laughing at you? Now you know. Full article and a slideshow of 10 smiling animals here.

And now, we’ll leave YOU smiling
with a before and after video of rescued cats, to observe National Feral Cat Day, here; and a heart-warming chimp family video to remind us that primate liberation is a beautiful thing. Find it here…and smile.