May 2012

OTHER NATIONS VOICES

“…living by voices we shall never hear.”

In this issue:

  • April outreach: Shrine Circus, Earth Day, Hellgate High School
  • Happy Mother’s Day (but not for everyone…)
  • Proof that happy moms don’t live in factory farms
  • Wolverines: Want to help them? Stop trapping them!
  • The real cost of fur 
  • Barbie’s got a brand new bag (as a SeaWorld trainer???)
  • Celebrate: Ducks, geese get a break in CA; racing greyhounds in AZ
  • The tail end: Wag it!

TAKIN’ IT TO THE STREETS
The Shrine Circus played to thousands of Missoula region attendees at the end of April; 24 local animal activists were present for some or all of the five performances, delivering a message about the tragic lives of circus animals. Visit our blog to read “Circus reveals more about human animal that circus animal.” Much of it won’t shock you. Some of it might. 

Fudge the lloving llama

Also in April: Even the World’s Greatest Kitchen Klutz (ahem) can pull off a recipe like “The best chocolate cake ever…that happens to be vegan,” and so Other Nations added to the delish offerings at Missoula’s Earth Day festivities. Garden City Vegans hosted the vegan bake sale with profits going to New Dawn Montana farmed animal sanctuary. Yes, vegan brownies raised money for Fudge, a sweet deal for all parties. Fudge is a lloving llama resident at New Dawn.

The SAVE club (Students Against Violating the Environment) at Hellgate High School–so named for the river canyon east of Missoula–invited Other Nations to appear at their Earth Day program. A 30-minute PowerPoint show created just for the occasion revealed the devastation of industrial animal production (factory farming) to animals, to the environment, and to humans. The roughly couple hundred students were attentive, sometimes stunned, and engaged. Hellgate kids are awesome–having taught there, I know this from experience. Thanks, Hellgate, for the fantastic opportunity!

click image to send e-card; join the Cow Ribbon Campaign!

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to human moms!
Sadly, many animal moms never know the joy of caring for their little ones. Factory farmed females are continuously artifically impregnated, their babies quickly removed (emotionally wrenching for mother and babies) so the process can be repeated again and again.  Their bodies are used up and worn out prematurely; they are slaughtered when no longer productive. Likewise, in Montana’s War on Wildlife, wild bison moms-to-be who leave the confines of Yellowstone National Park are hazed without mercy; calves are also caught up in the brutality (full page of photos here). As we celebrate mothers this Sunday, let’s ponder why our generosity as a species doesn’t extend to nonhuman moms who, like humans, feel strong connection and devotion to their young.

TO DRIVE THE POINT HOME–SHOCKING CRUELTY AT PIG FACTORY
Anyone planning to enjoy ham or bacon for their Mother’s Day brunch might want to skip this one…or not (maybe change the menu?!?). The Humane Society of the U.S. recently released shocking undercover video footage of depraved cruelty at a pig breeding factory farm–a supplier to Tyson Foods (see Forbes article). The video

…reveals incredibly violent and downright sadistic scenes of animal abuse including mother pigs repeatedly punched and kicked in the face, piglets swung around by their back legs or kicked like soccer balls, and injured pigs with broken legs or prolapses unable to walk who were left without access to food, water, or veterinary care.

Unfortunately, heinous cruelty is not all that uncommon in industrial animal production. Read more at Compassion Over Killing (COK), where the video is available for viewing. According to COK, “you can stand up for pigs every time you sit down to eat simply by choosing vegetarian foods. Visit Try Veg.com today — and be sure to also check out this vegan recipe that takes the oink out of pulled BBQ pork.

WOLVERINES NEED TRAPPING LIKE THEY NEED A HOLE IN THE HEAD
Who is the wildest creature of all? Some say the wolverine. So why incarcerate a wolverine (or any animal) in a zoo? The short answer: speciesism. Turns out that ZooMontana (Billings), an outfit that has lost its accreditation with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, is shipping its lone wolverine off to a breeding program in Minnesota, according to a recent Missoulian article. “We just feel that this is a great opportunity to help the species,” says ZooMontana personnel.

Hey, if you really want to help the species, convince Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks to stop trapping them! Yes, Montana is the only state in the lower 48 to allow wolverine trapping despite the finding that they qualify for Endangered Species Act listing. Why trap them? The short answer: trapper demands. They consider Gulo gulo the “Holy Grail” of trapping, and apparently their trapper cronies running the program at FWP agree. Science, shmience.

Stop trapping, protect habitat, address global warming. That’s how to help the species.

THE REAL COST OF FUR
Don’t be afraid to watch this one. Yes, there’s blood, but it’s all staged (i.e., no suffering animals). Take a look–see what comes out of that “stylish” fur handbag–and who has blood on her hands. Kudos to the AntiFur Coalition for their creative approach.

click image for ALL of Barbie's careers

BARBIE…WE NEED TO TALK, SISTER!
From the Shamu Store website at SeaWorld (parentheticals from Other Nations):  “Show your little girl you support her dreams (to exploit captive wild animals for profit) with our signature SeaWorld trainer Barbie. Dressed in a realistic SeaWorld wetsuit, this Barbie comes complete with her own pool (suitably small for extreme confinement) and three adorable aquatic friends, a seal, dolphin and baby Shamu (whose natural lives as sentient individuals are of no account so just fuhgeddaboudit). Just add imagination (and domination) and it’s show time! Not for children under 3 years old due to possible choking hazard (ALL ages susceptible to moral hazard of speciesism). Read more at Zoe… also, Mattel should sink ‘Whale Trainer Barbie’ 

Feminists–and mothers of girls–have long criticized the negative, unrealistic image Barbie sends girls about their real-life bodies. At one mom’s blog, the author laments the fact that her small daughter loves sea animals but she (mom) won’t purchase SeaWorld Barbie for her because of the body image thing. Sadly, the animal oppression thing isn’t anywhere on her radar. (Quick, send that woman a copy of Sister Species!)

“Dependent on sonar/sound to navigate their vast ocean homes, dolphins and whales are in constant state of distress living in cramped pools, bombarded by noise, stressed by food deprivation and forced to perform.” Onetime “Flipper” trainer turned anti-marine-mammal-captivity advocate Ric O’Barry – read more here.

CELEBRATE! Good news for ducks, geese, & greyhounds
California will ban the production and sale of foie gras on July 1st–the nation’s first state-wide ban. Legislators refused to consider a repeal in spite of much belly-achin’ from some 100 chefs. Find an informative news video here, and visit our blog for further info on foie gras sales surrounding the Titanic sinking hoopla. Click here for foie gras bans around the world.

Congrats to Grey2K USA and other animal advocates for winning dog-friendly legislation in Arizona for greyhounds.

THE TAIL END: WAG IT!
*Ultimate Animal Moms: Babies
*Ultimate Animal Moms: Mom’s lessons
*Cat mom hugs baby

Thanks for reading!