November 2012


“…living by voices we shall never hear.”


  • “Well-mannered predators” come at a tragically high cost
  • The Other Nations Most Delicious Turkey Recipe Ever
  • Props to NPR: Life & liberty for animals
  • Lions & tigers in the backyard: All about ego? Money? (Must-see video)
  • Cruel trapping season is upon us; know how to save your companion 
  • Superiority or responsibility? The Bible and human dominion
  • The tail end: Wag it! Rescued turkeys livin’ the good life & more

Well-mannered predators: This term was actually used by a Montana company that exploits and capitalizes on captive wild animals–both natives (e.g., grizzly, mountain lion) and nonnatives (African lion, snow leopard).  Yeah, a well-mannered predator is one who sits down to a kill and knows which fork to use. But the tragedy of captive wild lives–and the human deaths sometimes attendant–is no joking matter, whether a child’s death in a zoo or a trainer’s death in a “roadside menagerie.” It’s at our blog.

The Other Nations Most Delicious Turkey Recipe Ever: According to the Butterball “turkey gift check” website, one of their turkeys (“saturated with suffering“) costs $1.00-$1.50 per pound. With that in mind, here’s our recipe:

1 compassionate heart (yours)
1 check, equivalent to the cost of a 10-15 lb. turkey   (more for larger appetites for justice)
1 envelope with 44 cent stamp affixed
1 farmed animal sanctuary (we suggest New Dawn Montana, but your own local or favorite
sanctuary can be substituted) 

Directions: Make check out to sanctuary (season with love and generosity); place in addressed envelope; seal and mail. Then sit down to a scrumptious meal free of exploited animals; let Gentle Thanksgiving and Compassionate Holidays be your guides. Enjoy the delicious taste of compassion and justice while helping sanctuaries that struggle to make ends meet–especially those with additional winter costs like heating and extra feed.

NPR gets it right – Last month we took NPR to task for their continuing glorification of animal exploitation in gustatory pursuits and factory farming (see “All things considered, NPR disappoints” in our October news). We’re happy to report that a recent offering, “Championing Life and Liberty for Animals” opens with an example of crude speciesism (a dog and monkey rodeo), proceeds to highlight the work of the Nonhuman Rights Project, gives activists their due, and highlights animal rights accomplishments over the past several decades. Bravo!

Backyard exotics: Is it all about ego? Money? And what’s up with Ohio? – We’ll say it again and again: Wild animals don’t belong in zoos, aquariums, roadside menageries, or anyone’s backyard. The need to “own” a wild animal is pathetic and does not speak of love or understanding for the animal. Remember the Zanesville, Ohio tragedy? Sure you do. Now exotic animal owners are suing the Buckeye state over the regulations put in place after that horrible tragedy (check out the caged tigers in this woman’s yard!).

ABC News produced a fascinating 8-minute video on exotic animal ownership; listen for the following quotes: “When you bring a large predator into your home, you might as well just turn on a time bomb.” When asked who wears the black hats in this situation, an exotic animal specialist responds, “The breeders and the dealers are the ones with the black hats.” The Ohio Association of Animal Owners, Inc. looks out for the interests of those breeders, dealers, owners, and animal exploiters.

Closer to home, bobcat and lynx breeding seems to be all the rage (google: bobcat breeders Montana). Prices for kittens range from $1500 to $2000. (Yes, that Pink Floyd classic might be running through your head long about now.) Read about three bobcats who found their way to sanctuary once their “owners” realized that wild animals don’t make good pets. Duh.

Trapping rears its ugly head; know how to release your dog – Actually, trapping never fully goes away here in Montana. Traps can be set year-round for “predators”–defined legally as coyote, weasel, skunk, and civet cat (spotted skunk). Providing these animals with a cruel death doesn’t even require a license for state residents. But traps proliferate when “furbearer” season comes around ($$$), and many a companion dog has been injured or killed by traps set on public land. As of Nov. 1st, beaver, otter, mink, and muskrat trapping is open statewide, as well as swift fox in north/northeastern MT. Bobcat, fisher, marten, and wolverine trapping commence Dec. 1st with wolf trapping making a debut on the 15th. Track the carnage (quotas exist for only five species) by clicking here. (As this newsletter was being written last night (11/20), news broke that another dog was injured in a foothold trap along the Bitterroot River in western Montana. Article here, and as always, the comments posted to it are instructive. Updated here–trapper identified.)  Find your own state’s trapping regulations here.

If you’ve been unable to attend a trap-release workshop, check out these resources for learning how to release foothold traps, snares, and body-gripping traps should your dog tangle with one on your taxpayer-supported public lands. Lincoln Co. Humane Society; Terrier Man; Trap-free Oregon; here’s a video on releasing body-gripping (conibear) traps; and another video. Updated to add this: A 26-minute video of a trap release workshop addressing all three methods of trapping (plus methods of anchoring footholds) here.  It helps to review several different sources of this info to get a full understanding–some do a better job than others at explaining the various trap types.

Also, visit (and support) Footloose Montana (Promoting trap-free public lands for people, pets, and wildlife) to report any locations where you happen upon traps in the Treasure State. Finally, this: I once saw a bumper sticker that pictured a foothold trap with “Genesis 1:26” between the open jaws of the trap. Really! That leads us to our next item…

The Bible and human ‘dominion’ over animals: Superiority or Responsibility?  This blog post is one of those serendipitous things I found on my way to somewhere else. Speaking of the story of Genesis, the author writes: “This story no more justifies rejecting animals’ capacities to think, dream, feel, suffer, and be happy than it does prioritizing men over women.” Find the piece in Huff Post Religion. For a growing list of faith-based resources on animals across a variety of traditions, visit our Vegan & Ethical Living page under the “issues” tab in the menu bar. Whether or not we adhere to any formal religion, it behooves us to work with people of faith to create a just world for all. 

The tail end: Wag it! Rescued turkeys are livin’ the good life at a farmed animal sanctuary in New York state. You’ll learn why these gentle birds are missing their beak tips and toes; you’ll relish the story about the Girl Scout ceremony. View here.

And here are the ones we posted last year–worth another look!

“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 hereHappy Thanksgiving from Other Nations!