November 2011


“…living by voices we shall never hear.”


  • Harming animals to help humans: When charity isn’t charitable
  • Gentle Thanksgiving: Have a feast…and nobody gets hurt!
  • Trapping: Torture in the trees, suffering in the streams
  • When eating bacon’s like eating Fido
  • Missoula City Council prohibits street-side puppy sales
  • Leave you smiling: Happy Thanksgiving from Other Nations!


USDA photo

When charity isn’t charitable–to animals
There’s something terribly uncomfortable about commenting on people and groups doing charitable, humanitarian work where animal exploitation figures in–even if only remotely or tangentially. It feels like badmouthing Santa or ripping on Mother T. Because oppression of other animal species is so thoroughly woven into the fabric of our lives, it’s considered normal or merely goes unrecognized. You know from the get-go that your comments will be perceived as criticism. The nuances of the discussion will be lost. The defensive accusation, “You care more about animals than people,” will come blasting your way to shut down further discussion. Some things shouldn’t be questioned. Period.
Continue reading at our blog.

Gentle Thanksgiving: Have a feast…and nobody gets hurt!

Farm Sanctuary photo

Thanksgiving should be a kind and gentle holiday for all–a time of compassion and gratitude. Visit Gentle Thanksgiving for inspiration and recipes that don’t include the toxic ingredients of suffering and death. Gentle diners in Missoula County and environs can join the Western Montana Vegetarian Society for a Gentle Thanksgiving vegan potluck on Saturday, Nov. 12; click here for information. Special feathered guests from New Dawn Montana Sanctuary will be in attendance to strut their grateful stuff.

Bonus link: United Poultry Concerns’ turkey page; don’t miss the photo of the turkey comforting the lamb!

Trapping season rears its ugly jaws
If you are a public land enthusiast, and if your dog ever accompanies you, you must certainly know it’s past time to go on red alert. Beaver, otter, mink, and muskrat trapping began in western Montana on November 1st. December 1st brings the terror and suffering of traps to bobcats, martens, and rare fishers and wolverines. (MT is the only state in the lower 48 to allow wolverine trapping; the Northern Rockies Gulo gulo has been deemed warranted for Endangered Species Act listing but continues to be trapped.) See all season dates here (click on Season Dates tab). To learn how many animals can be killed in each trapping district, click here. See page 8 of the 2011 trapping regulations for a map of trapping districts. The Missoula area is in district 2. Don’t forget that other “nongame” wildlife and predators can be trapped year-round. (See also: People, Pets, and Traps: A Deadly Mix on Public Lands, which first appeared at presently-offline New West Network and is reprinted at

What are traps if not loaded, unattended weapons concealed on our public lands? It’s going on five years now that a border collie named Cupcake died in a body-gripping beaver trap in Rock Creek, a popular western Montana Forest Service recreation site. That particular death–which was not the first–galvanized activists to take on the trapping establishment. The struggle continues. Visit Footloose Montana for more information.

Why love one but eat the other?
“It’s being billed as one of the biggest advertising campaigns in the world — to do with farm animals. And shown on a transit system. If that’s too obscure, just think of it this way: when was the last time you were asked to care as much about bacon as you do about Fido, all while sitting on the subway?”

An ad campaign aims to get Toronto mass transit riders thinking about their food choices. Check out the video accompanying the article.

Thank you, Missoula City Council!
(NOTICE: Visit our Puppy Mills page under “issues” in the menu bar!)
The Missoula City Council passed an Animal Ordinance recently (admittedly, mostly focused on leash laws) that included a ban on the random sale of puppies on city streets. One commenter at the hearing “…praised the prohibition in the ordinance of pet sales in parking lots by private parties. ‘These sales are completely unregulated and promote amateur backyard pet breeding and possibly more unregulated puppy mill operations in Montana,’ ” she said. Now we’ll need to remain vigilant–will breeders attempt to make a buck peddling their vulnerable, living “wares” in the county?

Last legislative session, House Bill 515 (Sue Malek, sponsor), which would have imposed minimal humane standards on puppy mills, never got out of the House Agriculture Committee. Ag people feel, apparently, that quashing any kind of humane legislation is in their best interest–it’s the old “puppies today, livestock tomorrow” slippery slope, no doubt. It would be a crying shame to cut into profits by treating animals like the thinking, feeling beings they are–with decency and respect.

Related: Puppy mill bust in Arkansas leads to rescue of more than 100 dogs, article here; No pet store puppies dot com, here; puppy mill news from HSUS (don’t miss “Isabelle’s Journey from Rags to Wags”); Prisoners of Greed.

Leave you smiling: Happy Thanksgiving!

“Thanksgiving – Let’s Talk Turkey”: 2-1/2 minute YouTube video

“Rescued turkeys: sanctuary, not slaughter”: 1-minute YouTube video

“Newly Rescued Turkeys at Animal Acres”: 2-1/2 minute YouTube video

“The Gratitude Dance”: OK, this one has nothing to do with animals or animal rights, but that’s OK, it’s lovely. Watch it here. Happy Thanksgiving from Other Nations!